Daniel “Dano” Patten, 66, a Southern California photographer who was well known for documenting the region’s car culture, was killed at an illegal street racing event in Carson on Dec. 25 after two vehicles veered into a group of spectators. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, Patten, a Huntington Beach resident, was fatally struck near East 230th and Banning Streets while filming drag races at the illegal gathering.
Fatality and Injuries
Patten drew a following with his social media posts showcasing hot rods and muscle cars at organized venues and in and around Southern California. But, he wasn’t usually into photographing illegal drag races, his family members said, adding that it was unusual for Patten to be at that location.
Footage shot in Carson and posted to social media that day shows a black Cadillac sedan racing a blue car, which slams into each other and then barrels into a crowd of people. The legs of an apparently injured spectator lying on the ground can be seen a short distance from two wrecked vehicles in another video recorded near the scene of the crash. Patten was pronounced dead at the scene and five others were hospitalized with injuries. The drivers who participated in the race fled the scene, police said.
We offer our deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Daniel Patten for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We also wish everyone who was injured the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
The Pandemic and Street Racing
The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the scourge of street racing in Southern California. Because of lockdowns, roadways in the region have been uncharacteristically empty, and street racers have made public roadways their personal playgrounds putting the general public in grave danger. Racers have been challenging each other at excessive speeds on surface streets or rushing intersections to perform dangerous vehicle stunts.
These large gatherings in street corners, known as “sideshows” or “takeovers,” are especially troubling in the context of the pandemic when hospitals in Southern California have been strained to the maximum and intensive care units are unable to accommodate more people. It also raises the question of social distancing during a time when the virus has proved extremely contagious.
Justice for Victims and Families
Racing on a public roadway is illegal under California Vehicle Code. Those who cause injuries and damages by breaking this law can face criminal penalties and be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer can also help families of deceased victims file a wrongful death lawsuit to secure justice and compensation for their tremendous losses.