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Sure, there are speed limits. But why would a car's speedometer go all the way to 150 mph if you were only supposed to drive 55? Well, one Texas mother put her speedometer, and her luck, to the test early Sunday morning.
Kierra Beaty was arrested and charged with street racing and child endangerment after her car clipped a pole, spun out of control, and crashed. In the car with Beaty were three passengers and her 13-month-old son, who was allegedly unrestrained in the back seat. Police say Beaty hit speeds as high as 120 mph before the crash.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accident. A passenger who was holding the child in the back seat suffered a minor injury, but the boy himself was unscathed. Under Texas law, however, an injury does not have to occur in order for a person to be charged with endangerment of a child. Instead, someone who "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engages in conduct that places a child younger than 15 years in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment" can be charged and convicted of child endangerment.
Given the circumstances -- the lack of restraining device, the speed, and the ultimate crash -- it's not difficult to see how Beaty placed her son in imminent danger of injury. As family members told Dallas' FOX 4, it's a miracle no one was really hurt.
Racing on a highway in Texas is also illegal. As the traffic statute reads:
A person may not participate in any manner in:
(1) a race;
(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;
(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;
(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or
(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.
Although reports don't indicate who Beaty was racing or reference another car, a local business owner told Fox 4 said the area is known for street racing. While street racing is a class B misdemeanor in the Lone Star State, child endangerment is a felony, so Beaty could be looking at some serious jail time.