Illegal Soapbox Derby Racer Dies

March 9, 2008

Los Angeles: A derby participant lost control and crashed into a parked car, killing him.

On Sunday March 9, 2008, at around 7:40 a.m., an illegal soapbox derby race was underway on Reseda Boulevard south of Winford Drive. The race had thirty-six contestants all operating various designs and shapes of soapbox racers. This portion of the roadway has a decline, northbound, for about one-mile that facilitates soapbox racers to gain speeds of 40-60 miles per hour.

22 year-old Michael Joseph Garcia, of Sun Valley, was one of the participants of this race. While negotiating this area of the roadway, Garcia lost control of the racer. While attempting to regain control he veered to the right of the roadway and collided with a parked Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle.

Garcia sustained serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he died. Garcia was wearing a helmet but it is unclear whether it was properly secured as it flew off upon impact.

Detective William Bustos, Valley Traffic Division is handling this incident, 818-374-1930.