6-year-old killed, father released from the hospital in alleged Gaston County drag race that ended in head-on crash


GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Investigators spent Monday recreating the scene of a deadly crash that killed a 6-year-old in Gaston County.

Troopers said the child and his father were innocent victims of what may have been a drag race between two other vehicles.

Officials said two cars reached speeds in the triple digits before losing control, and a father and son were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

No one has been charged yet, but troopers do expect charges in this case.

FOX 46 spoke with a neighbor who is just heartbroken over the death of the little boy.

“It’s just sad that things happen seemingly for no reason and no fault of the people who are injured, and it just breaks my heart,” neighbor Jacqueline Robinson said.

Robinson is devastated for the family of a 6-year-old boy killed because two cars may have been drag racing down Highway 74 Saturday night.

“Two bad decisions, unfortunately, will affect multiple lives,” Trooper Ray Pierce with the NC Highway Patrol said.

Troopers said the little boy and his dad were just on their way home, doing nothing wrong, when two other cars sped down the highway, possibly drag racing.

“You can go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and enter your car in drag racing and do it legally, out here on the highway, that’s not the place to do it. There are other innocent drivers out there,” Trooper Pierce said.

Investigators tell FOX 46 right around 9:30 p.m. Saturday two cars that were going about 100 miles an hour side-swiped each other causing one of the cars to lose control, slide through the median, and catch fire when it hit the car the 6-year-old was in with his dad, Santiago Lagunas.

The child was killed. And his dad was rushed to the hospital. He’s now at home recovering.

“It’s just irresponsible when you’re driving, you’re responsible for not only yourself but for everybody else on the road and that’s just totally irresponsible to me, unfathomable,” said Robinson.

One of the drivers who may have been drag racing is still in the hospital. Troopers said bystanders rescued him from his burning car.

“The world today is just upside down, what we have to realize that we as human beings what we do always affects other people,” Robinson said.

Troopers said they’re looking at the black boxes of the cars in the crash to determine exact speeds and they’re also trying to find surveillance video from area businesses and homes to figure out if the cars were drag racing.

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