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Drag racers put two in hospital

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
April 25, 2011 at 8:05 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2011 at 11:25 p.m.

Two vehicles were reportedly racing down Navarro Street when a small SUV was struck by one of the vehicles. A Dodge pickup then veered off Navarro and smashed into a State Farm Insurance office building.

Two cars drag racing down North Navarro Street may be responsible for a two-vehicle accident Monday night that put two drivers in the hospital, and a hole in the side of the State Farm Insurance building.

"It looks like racing was a contributing factor. And it resulted in this two-vehicle accident," Victoria Police Senior Patrolman Hector Talamantez said.

Witnesses of the 6 p.m. wreck said Raymond Guerrero, driving an orange and black-striped Chevrolet truck, was racing another vehicle northbound on Navarro Street when he collided with Allyon Abete, who was turning onto East Crestwood Drive from North Navarro Street in a maroon GMC Jimmy.

After striking Abete's car, Guerrero crashed into the side of State Farm Insurance, located at 3602 N. Navarro St.

Witnesses of the accident verified Talamantez's report.

Kevin Young, a witness driving behind Abete when she was hit, said two cars appeared to be racing down Navarro when the collision occurred.

"When (Abete) made that turn, we were right up on her," Young said. "The other car (that was racing) drove away."

After the impact, Young said Abete's Jimmy rolled over several times before landing on Navarro Street.

"(Abete) was in shock more than anything. She said she couldn't feel her legs, and she thought there was glass in her eye," Young said.

Other witnesses, Eldene Rendon and Victor Rendon, said they saw the accident from across the street.

"We didn't see the impact, but we saw her car flipping," Eldene Rendon said about Abete's Jimmy. "(Abete) said she thinks her hands are broken."

The Victoria Fire Department used mechanical jaws to pry open Guerrero's truck to remove him from the vehicle.

Both Abete and Guerrero were placed on emergency stretchers and transported by ambulance to DeTar Hospital with unknown injuries. A hospital official said both Guerrero and Abete are being treated in the emergency room, but did not know the extent of the injuries as of 8:30 p.m. Monday.

No information is known about the driver of the third vehicle involved in the accident, but Talamantez said the car did not appear to hit any other vehicles in the accident.

State Farm Insurance employee Stephanie Longoria, who has worked in the building for 10 years and witnessed many accidents to the building, said Monday's wreck was the worst she's seen.

"The building has been hit numerous times," Longoria said. "This has been the most devastating accident we've seen."

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