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Street Racing Popular Again

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- Historians believe drag racing stems from prohibition when bootleggers outran police.

The dangerous hobby returned in the fifties, depicted in movies such as rebel with a cause.  It's trending again all over the country.  But now the streets are busier, dragsters go faster.  There is a high price for speed.

In the wreckage of this car, Middletown police found an oversized turbocharger, a power boosting nitrous oxide tank and two dead teenagers.

17-year-old Kristen Norris was killed 10 days before her 18th birthday.

From the moment Kristen died, every day brings a degree of pain.

Eyewitnesses say the driver took off in a burst of speed on Roosevelt going 96 miles an hour and skidded into a pole before nearly breaking in to.

Kenny King is a school resource officer with a racecar.

It's a 68 Chevelle, has a 468 block, 1093 quarter mile jumps knee high off the ground.

Officer King's point: This driver legally racing here at tri state drag way crashes with a helmet, seatbelt and a rescue squad nearby.  On the street it could have ended up wrapped around a pole.

I think drag racing do it to be popular fit in with kids starting to be big.

With the cool car comes a message, I need you to stay off alcohol and drugs.  If you take the notion you want to street race come to the track and race me.

And they do.  Officer King remembers a young man who caught up with him years after he took him to the racetrack.

I got him hooked up track, heard his name on speaker thought he'd gone to heaven.

Officer King you're the greatest I'll never race again.

Linda Patton hopes students listen to her message too.  The one she delivers at schools.

Think about the decision you make, might be fun to go fast.  Probably is.  That decision can have a big price tag at the end of the day, you will be six feet under."

Officer King is a member of the group, "Beat the Heat."  It's a national non-profit organization of police officers and firefighters who use drag racing cars to bring attention to safety issues.

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