Elgin, IL

Speed Racers in Elgin Cause Death of Two College Students

Sherry McGuinn

It should come as no surprise to the local PD


I knew this was going to happen. I've known it for a long time. I've alerted the Elgin Police Department to the ignoramuses racing in their souped-up vehicles, on Congdon Avenue, and on residential side streets. This blatant disregard for the law goes on every day, all day, in sporadic bursts.

Now, tragically, people have died.

The Chicago Tribune reported that two local men who were "street racing" on Route 31, collided with a car full of Judson University Students, killing two of them.

The cops were alerted last year and this year, yet still, precious little has changed.

The two racers were driving at least 35 miles over the posted 45 mph speed limit. And, because they were in one hell of a hurry to go nowhere, they killed two kids who had their whole lives ahead of them.

Here is a story I wrote about speed racers in an earlier News Break draft.

The "Brickyard" Comes to Elgin

Let me start by saying I have the utmost respect for the first responders who put their lives on the line for us every day and always have, but, I have to wonder, with all due sincerity, where the heck our local PD is when those imbecilic drivers, who get off by thinking themselves of low-rent Dale Earnhardts, disrupt what should be a relatively peaceful neighborhood to the extent where, residents like myself, can't enjoy a balmy evening out on our decks or patios? Or, even in our beds when most people are getting ready to call it a night?

Where are they when these clueless stumps in souped-up cars are pushing 90 mph on Congdon Avenue, also known as Shoe Factory road?

I can't speak for the rest of the neighborhoods but I know that the Blackhawk area can be especially noisy, all day and into the evening. Noise ordinances are supposedly in place, but apparently, they're meaningless.

And it's not just a Congdon Avenue issue, which has become a major artery in this part of town, but drivers gun down the side streets, too. I've come close to getting hit more than once. Luckily, I'm fast on my feet.

Understandably, police officers have much on their plates, but that said, having more of a presence in the area would go a long way in shutting down some of these imbeciles. Yet, that presence is rarely to be seen. What are they doing, instead? Breaking up riots? if so, where?

Are they busting rumdums at the Queen Victoria casino? Issuing tickets for drivers who have the misfortune to meander through stop signs?

As The Chicago Tribune stated, Elgin may not be Disneyworld, but it's a relatively safe place to live. And, thankfully so.

Let me point something out here. I'm not an old fart with an ax to grind. See? I'm heading off the haters who will no doubt attempt to publicly skewer me. Well, take your best shot. I'm merely someone who believes that "mutual respect" should be a thing, you know? But instead, respect for one's neighbors, and they for you has been kicked to the curb like a discarded face mask. Plenty of those around here, too, by the way.

As a longtime payer of significant taxes here, I'd like to see some attention paid by disrupting the disrupters. Instead of being fined by the city if we have one too many dandelions on our lawn or a tree that's had the misfortune to give up the ghost. It's become painfully obvious that the City of Elgin feels free to put the squeeze on its residents without giving bubkis in return.

What will it take for the city to finally step in and pull the plug on the lead-foots? A five-car-pileup? One or more deaths? Of course, because until a disaster occurs, it's easier to look the other way,

But here's the good news. Unless I'm missing something, it would appear that it's just as easy for the Elgin PD to place a squad or two in the area. It doesn't have to be every day. Once in a while would suffice. An occasional presence for the rest of us--who take mandates like noise ordinances and speed limits seriously--so that we needn't feel that our desire to merely live a relatively peaceful existence here, goes unheeded.

Is that too much to ask? Especially considering everything we've endured over the past year, and are still slogging through?

We're all bored. It's just that some of us choose not to get in our cars and crap all over the rights of this town's residents. Some of us...you know, just read a book.

NOTE: I finally received a call-back from the Traffic Division of the Elgin PD and was told that a speed tracking device would be implemented. The question is, "when?" And, is that enough?

© Sherry McGuinn, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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Chicago, IL

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