ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Several thick, black trails of burned rubber mark the road where Florida Highway Patrol says a series of illegal street races started early Sunday morning a little after two.
“That’s a three-to-five-thousand-pound bullet. You could kill someone in your car -- an innocent bystander or an innocent family. It’s not a game,” said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes.
Troopers arrested 34-year-old Kelvis Rodriguez Tormes, charging him with participating in an unlawful race.
According to his arrest affidavit, Rodriguez-Tormes hit speeds up to 80 miles per hour racing his opponent to Boggy Creek Road.
“Unfortunately he was only able to catch one, but that’s one street racer off the road,” said Sgt. Montes of the trooper who made the arrest.
Just thirty minutes earlier, records show that Orange County Sheriffs deputies arrested 24-year-old Christian Loreano charging him with participating in an unlawful race on the same stretch of Lake Nona Drive.
According to his arrest affidavit, the deputy believed he was going over 50 miles per hour in the 30 mph zone while he was racing another car.
“It’s hard to catch them. They’re getting more sophisticated with their technology and moving around,” said Sgt. Montes.
And, she says racers are organized. The deputy who arrested Loreano says there was even a guy at the make shift start line flagging racers when to go.
According to Rodriguez-Tormes’ arrest affidavit, the arresting trooper watched a caravan of cars more than a mile long cruise up Lake Nona drive and one by one pull up the curves and onto the median to watch the illegal street racing, leaving tire marks on the grass. Also left behind were half empty beer bottles and cigarette packs as well as fresh burned rubber and oil stains.
Troopers and other local law enforcement agencies are doing what they can to crack down. Sgt. Montes says the racers are sophisticated.
“Found walkie-talkies in the car they’re very good at communicating with each other to look out for law enforcement,” said Montes.
Troopers are still waiting to see what was captured on the Go-Pro camera found on top of the car belonging to the man they arrested early Sunday. And she says troopers are looking for other ways to curb the dangerous drivers.
“We’ll look at it in our meeting to see if engineer wise anything can be done [to the road],” said Montes.