State House Passes Bill Toughening Illegal Street Racing Penalties

UPDATED: Wednesday December 2, 2009 11:19 AM

The Ohio House of Representatives Tuesday approved a bill to increase the penalties for illegal street racing in Ohio.

The legislation came nearly two years after a crash that killed a man who police said was racing. 

Ohio State student Monica Durban, who was traveling along Interstate 70 in the opposite direction, suffered serious, life-threatening injuries in the crash after she was struck by George Staton's car.

SLIDESHOW:   Images Of Crash, Monica Durban's Recovery

Durban was in a coma for weeks, 10TV News reported.

"(There has to be) a way to get people punished and no one has to suffer the way I've suffered," Durban said. 

"You don't want other young people or any person to be hurt in this," said her mother, Marta Durban.

The bill creates a new offense, street racing manslaughter, which is a felony.  It imposes mandatory prison time if anyone is killed in a street race.

Racers caught by police can have their vehicle taken, 10TV News reported.

The legislation also regulates the sale of nitrous oxide which is often used by street racers.

The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for debate. 

Stay with 10TV News and for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

April 21, 2009:  Testimony Begins In Deadly Street Racing Trial
December 11, 2008: Teen Accused In Deadly Street Racing Crash Free On Bond
December 10, 2008:  Charges Filed In Deadly Drag Racing Crash
July 14, 2008:  Police: Crash Investigation Could Have Been 'Better'
January 28, 2008:  Police: Racing Might Have Contributed To Head-On Crash
January 27, 2008:  Man Killed, Woman Critical After I-70 Crash