CHP Searches For Second Driver in Street Racing Fatal Crash in Santa Clara

California Highway Patrol officers on Monday continued searching for the second driver in a vicious street racing crash that left one man dead in Santa Clara on Sunday afternoon.

Investigators were looking for a gray Acura that was seen racing a Chevy Camaro on San Tomas Expressway before the Camaro slammed into a tree near the intersection of Homestead Road and San Tomas.

The driver of the Acura could face serious charges, the CHP said.

"Being involved in a street race where the other person dies, that driver could face vehicular manslaughter charges," CHP Officer Ross Lee said.

Witnesses and investigators said the two vehicles were driving in excess of 100 mph before the crash. When the cars came to a stoplight, the Chevy swerved right, striking the sidewalk and then a tree. The vehicle caught fire but firefighters responded and quickly extinguished the blaze.

The driver of the Camaro, a San Jose man in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The car hit the tree so hard, it sent debris flying over the retaining wall, and neighbors said it could easily have hit kids playing in their backyards.

"Absolutely there would have been people hurt with all those pieces going over the wall," resident Steven Hames said, adding that an oil pump landed on his hot tub, where his nephew could have been playing.

Hames said part of the fence came down at his house and those nearby. Other neighbors felt the impact too.

"My house shook," Alex Koss said.

Hames and other neighbors said they hear street racers often. "At night, it's constant," he said.

CHP officers said it's unusual to see street racing in the area during the day. Neighbors are now calling for stepped up enforcement so the expressway does not become a raceway in the future.

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