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Old 05-29-2006, 09:46 AM   #1
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This Is Why Street Racing Should Be Illegal

Couple dead after alleged street racing incident News Staff

A Toronto Ontario husband and wife on their way home from celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary are the innocent victims of a street race between two young men, police say.

Two red Hondas a Civic and Del Sol, were travelling north in Richmond Hill Ontario at about 9:50 p.m. Saturday May 27th, when the Civic struck the couple's southbound Hyundai Elantra.

Robbie Manchester, 47, and his wife Lisa, 43, were pronounced dead at the scene, just 3 blocks from their home.

The couple leave behind a seven-year-old daughter, who was being watched by a family friend at the time of the accident.

"She's going to be totally devastated," said Pierre Frenette, whose daughter was babysitting the young girl.

"She is one of those kids that is devastated about a cat she lost five years ago."

Marco Gasparro, 19, of Richmond Hill driving the Del Sol, is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

The 21-year-old driver of the Civic is in critical condition in Sunnybrook Hospital. Charges are pending against him.

Police say the two racing vehicles were travelling 150 km/h ( 95 MPH ) in the 80 km/h ( 40 MPH ) zone.

Earlier this year, Toronto cab driver Tahir Khan was killed after two teens were allegedly street racing along Mount Pleasant Avenue in Toronto, reaching speeds of up to 140 km/h ( 90 MPH ) in the 50 km/h ( 35 MPH ) zone.

Khan was just 2 days away from becoming a Canadian citizen after leaving his wife and home in Pakistan six years ago to build a new life in Toronto Ontario.

Tougher laws proposed

The weekend tragedy comes just days after Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in Victoria, B.C. plans to introduce legislation to crack down on street racing.

On Thursday, Harper said he would make street racing a specific Criminal Code offence, with stiffer sentences for those convicted.

The prime minister said the legislation, which would be introduced this spring, would also include driving prohibitions.

Street racers currently convicted of dangerous driving face a maximum sentence of five years. If someone is injured the maximum is 10 years, and 14 years if sometime is killed.

Still, the promise for tougher laws doesn't bring comfort to friends of the Manchesters.

"These kids I'm sure listen to the news, they knew the law was coming in. It didn't stop them from having what they call fun," said Anita Kampen.

"But it's not fun. They have to redefine the term fun."

With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney

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