KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 23, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Many Katy residents report hearing roaring engines on the roads near their homes at night. Authorities want to get the message out: Street racing is illegal and results in arrests, not tickets.
Harris County Incident Worries Katy Residents
An illegal Harris County car race turned deadly this weekend and the driver is in custody. He has been charged with one count of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury/reckless driving. Although this particular race wasn’t in Katy, residents worry about the street racing near their own neighborhoods.
Racing in Katy
Katy resident Delicia Thayer has lived in Cimarron, east of 99 and south of I-10 for 43 years. She says street racing is nothing new in Katy.
“Street racing has gone on for years out here,” says DeliciaThayer.
She says that Mason Road used to be the “hot spot” but now she hears them west of her home on 99.
“They start at dark and continue into well past midnight,” adds Thayer.
“We frequently receive complaints about late night racing on the Westpark, Grand Parkway, and some other locations,” says Fort Bend Constable Chad Norvell.
“I hear them all the time off of Colonial Parkway,” says Williamsburg Settlement resident Angie Zurek. “I believe they are racing down that parkway and along Westside Parkway.”
“We do work to address it and drivers should know that it isn’t a citation when caught. They’re arrested,” stresses Norvell.
“It’s gotten worse since 99 was put up,” says Rebekka Fincher. “There are so many straight away streets like Morton Road between Katy Hockley and 99.”
Fincher says she hears racing on Franz Road as well. She worries that Katy’s illegal racing will only continue and even get worse.
“99 has been around for many years, but segment E where 290 was to connect to 1-10 completed in 2013,” says Fincher. “So, the western side hasn’t been up that long.”
99 is still under construction. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the State Highway 99/Grand Parkway still has several planned sections that gives reckless drivers a lot of road to race on.
Casualties of Illegal Racing
This weekend’s race in North Harris County revealed how the speeding drivers can put other people’s lives in danger. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported that spectators lined both sides of the Highway 290 service road at the 14900 block for a “car meet/hot-rod” event. As a result of the illegal race Sunday evening a spectator and a teenage boy were killed, and several others were injured.
“I’ve posted quite a bit about illegal street racing being incredibly dangerous and how it’s become an epidemic in our region,” tweets Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
“I’m really surprised more haven’t been killed due to these horrifically irresponsible behaviors,” says Thayer. “They have no regard for putting drivers at risk. That kind of entitled attitude is what’s scary.”