Street Racing Leads To Charges

LAKEWOOD – An Ashville man is facing several traffic charges, including reckless driving and speeding, after he was allegedly found street racing Monday night.

An off-duty officer with the Lakewood-Busti Police Department at 9:45 p.m. observed Timothy M. Cornelius, 27, driving at a high rate of speed with another vehicle on East Fairmount Avenue. The vehicles appeared to be racing from Fairdale Avenue to Southwestern Drive.

According to a police report, the vehicles then turned around and started racing again from Fairdale Avenue toward Mall Boulevard. The vehicles were forced to stop due to traffic turning in front of them.

Cornelius was charged with reckless driving, unlawful speed contest, failure to yield the right of way, speeding, unsafe start and uninspected motor vehicle, all misdemeanors. He is expected to be in Busti Town Court at a later date.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the second driver.

“This occurs every once in a while,” Lakewood-Busti police Sgt. Paul Gustafson said of street racing. “From time to time we get complaints of racing and unlawful speed contests.”

“In the summer time we tend to get a few more of them,” he said.

Gustafson cited quick thinking by the off-duty officer in identifying and stopping Cornelius.

Lakewood-Busti police around midnight also observed two other vehicles racing at speeds of 55 mph on East Fairmount Avenue in a 35 mph zone. The drivers were stopped and issued traffic tickets for speeding.

“Our patrols are out there looking for reckless driving,” Gustafson said. “One of the areas of concern for us is where the four-lane road merges into two lanes.”

Fairmount Avenue also was the site of a racing incident last week. Firefighters and police responded to Fairmount Avenue at Meadow Lane for a one-car crash into a tree. One of the male occupants was ejected from the vehicle, Jamestown police said.

The driver of the vehicle was charged with speeding.

A blue sedan was seen allegedly racing the vehicle shortly before the crash. The driver of the sedan has been identified and is expected to be served with traffic tickets shortly, Jamestown police Capt. Robert Samuelson said Tuesday.

Identities will be released when the second driver is charged, Samuelson said.