Illegal Street Race kills Journalist in California

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

According to CBS Los Angeles, a journalist was killed on Thursday by a car that authorities believe was illegal street racing. The incident happened in Santa Ana, California.

A car crashed into Eugene Harbrecht’s truck, which caused a fire following the accident. Harbrecht was a former long-time Orange County Register editor.

Death Candle
Death Candle (Photo by

The authorities believe that he was turning onto Sara Clara Avenue from Bristol Street when the accident happened when the cops said that two cars were racing towards him. The incident happened at 11:45 am local time.

“And when they got to this intersection, they struck the black truck, which was making a left turn onto Santa Clara Avenue, knocking it out of the intersection,” Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, with the Santa Ana Police Department, said. “They struck an electrical box, blew that off the sidewalk, and then the vehicle hits the fence and gets stuck in the fence.”

Two good Samaritans helped Harbrecht from his vehicle after seeing the flames.

“The flames started going up and about, so at that point you just want to make sure that the guy doesn’t get engulfed in flames,” Luis Gonzalez said. “And we did everything we could to get him out.”

While Harbrecht was alive when these Good Samaritans removed him from his vehicle, he later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.

“The gentleman in the truck, we couldn’t see him until we broke the glass, and he was still unresponsive,” Guillermo Velazquez said. “Our biggest thing was just the flame, we noticed that the flame burst a little bit bigger as the car laid there, so my biggest concern was just getting the gentleman out of the vehicle.”

The victim’s wife is devastated that she did not get to say a final goodbye to her husband, according to the post. When he was involved in the wreck, he was going to get lunch, she said.

“It’s horrendous. They were racing during the day, what are they trying to accomplish,” Patt Buchanan Harbrecht, the victim’s wife, said. “What’s the point of that? Don’t they realize people are gonna get hurt?

“He’s been working at home,” she said. “I said, ‘When you take a break, I’ll bring you some lunch,’ and he said, ‘No, I’m gonna run over to Popeyes.’”

His widow saw the crash scene, according to the story. She saw the accident “when she was returning home from running an errand,” the post said.

“I still don’t, if he drove up right now, I’d believe it more than I believe this,” she said.

Before his death, Harbrecht worked for the Orange County Register for 35 years, his widow said.

“When I was going through chemo, he was always there for me,” she said of her battle with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. “Now, I won’t have anyone to reach out to, and hold his hand anymore. I guess I’m on my own. This is not right.”

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