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Three drag racers arrested after mowing down mother and 21-month-old daughter

Those who witnessed the race told authorities that the cars drove side by side and many a time switched lanes and places
UPDATED FEB 21, 2020
(Police Department)
(Police Department)

Law enforcement authorities reported on Friday that drag racers killed a mother and her 21-month-old daughter while they were crossing a boulevard in Florida.

According to Tampa Bay Times, Jessica Reisinger of Jeromesville, Ohio and her daughter Lillia Raubenolt were struck to death at about 11:45 am on Thursday as they were crossing the Bayshore Boulevard near West Knights Avenue in Tampa. Reisinger was pronounced dead on the same day while her daughter passed away in the hospital a day later.

Police reported that a gold Nissan was racing alongside a black Ford Mustang on the roadway. According to the newspaper, witnesses said the two cars were speeding close to 60 mph, however, investigators are yet to confirm that.

Those who witnessed the race told authorities that the cars drove side by side and many a time switched lanes and places. The speeding Mustang hit Ressinger and her daughter as they tried to legally cross at an intersection on a pedestrian ramp.

An arrest affidavit released by Tampa police and obtained by WTVT mentioned that Reisinger was rushed to Tampa General Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her daughter, who was critically injured in the accident, died a day later.

The three men in the cars, one on each wheel and another sitting passenger in the Mustang, were arrested and charged right after the terrifying crash. 18-year-old Cameron Coyle Herrin faces charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving resulting in critical bodily injury, and street racing. He was said to be behind the wheel of the Mustang.

On the other hand, 20-year-old Tristan Christopher Herrin, who is Cameron's brother, faces a misdemeanor charge of street racing. According to investigators, there was no evidence that he tried to stop the race or sought to get out the vehicle before it started.

The driver of the Nissan, 17-year-old John Alexander Barrineau, also faces the same charges as Herrin.

According to law enforcement, Tristan Herrin is being charged under Florida Statute 316.191(2). It states that it is illegal for a driver to engage in street racing and it is also illegal to "knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition." 

WTVT further reported that while Barrineau lives just a few blocks away from the scene of the accident, Cameron and Tristan Herrin both hail from South Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Reisinger's family has denied a request for comment by the newspaper. Furthermore, the parents of the three men could not be reached by the news outlet.

“A 2018 black Ford Mustang driven by Cameron Herrin was driving northbound on Bayshore Boulevard,” Tampa police said.

“Witnesses said the Mustang was traveling at a high rate of speed and was racing another northbound vehicle. Tristan Herrin was a passenger in the Mustang.

“The other vehicle engaged in the racing was a gold Nissan driven by John Barrineau. Witnesses said that at times the cars were side by side, and at other times they switched places and switched lanes.”

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that the Bayshore Boulevard is notorious for speeding and street races. 

“That is an issue on Bayshore,” police spokesman Steve Hegarty told the newspaper. “We had motorcycle [officers] out writing tickets this morning... People aren’t happy about it, but that’s what we do to remind people you’re not supposed to drive fast out there. We make an effort to slow things down but we’re not out there 24-7. We can’t be out there 24-7.”

"We see speeders constantly drag racing, playing chicken," Gloria Giunta, a Tampa local whose condo overlooks Bayshore Boulevard, told WFLA. "I'd like to walk my dogs right out front, but I'm afraid someone's going to flip right into our front yard."

Having said that, Reisinger's relatives have set up a GoFundMe account. As of early Friday, the page has raised over $54,000.

“We know our Tampa community is a strong and loving one,” the website reads. “Let’s rally around this family and lift them up in their time of need."

The suspects could not be reached by ABC News for comment. It is still unclear whether they have entered a plea or obtained a lawyer.

According to Tampa Bay Times, Raubenolt was a devoted mother, wife and niece who married David while studying nutrition at Kent State University. A health and fitness advocate, Raubenolt was visiting Florida with her family so David could obtain his certification in Pompano Beach as a single-engine airplane pilot.

Tampa residents will attend a candlelight vigil this Saturday at 10:30 am on Bayshore Boulevard in support of the anguished family.