MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis Police released a statement after video surfaced of cars blocking traffic and spinning out on I-240 Saturday night.
A 39-second video shows cars speeding in circles on I-240 near Walnut Grove. The cars caused a traffic jam on the interstate.
Authorities said Monday they have seen video of the incident and are searching for those responsible.
“We will charge anyone that we can positively identify with observed violations like obstructing traffic, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, and other offenses,” they said.
“The Memphis Police Department will not tolerate criminal acts like this. Reckless driving puts the community in danger and could result in the injury or detah of the participants, spectators, and nearby drivers.”
No arrests have been made. Authorities encouraged anyone with video or information to call and report it immediately.
Memphis Police received calls about the incident at around 10 p.m.
One woman who lives nearby says she understands the people who were involved are young and probably had nothing better to do, but she says it was very inconvenient when the roadway was blocked due to the incident.
“They’re kids with nothing better to do but do donuts in their car,” Rhonda Saslawsky, who lives nearby, said.
Those caught in the traffic back-up say it didn’t last long, but for Saslawsky, any time traffic has to be shut down for any period of time is too long, especially since the drivers were blocking the Walnut Grove exit, which leads to Baptist Hospital.
“My husband is a physician. He has emergencies all the time that he goes in for. So, if the road was blocked someone could have died,” Saslawsky said.
Malik Holmes says he’s a big fan of fast cars and the Memphis street racing scene. He says he doesn’t know who these drivers were nor does he condone their actions, but he looks at the situation a little differently.
“Personally, I think that street racing on the interstate was pretty cool. It’s not the safest thing. They could have slid and hit the barriers. They could have hit anything,” Holmes said.
Holmes says street racing has a large following in the city of Memphis but receives a lot of push-back due to the potential dangers.
“When we go to certain shutdown lots, people are calling the police for the noises, for the backfire because they do sound like shots,” Holmes said.
So far, there have been no reported injuries associated with the I-240 incident. People we spoke to say while it may have been all fun and games to the drivers, safety should’ve been given a little more priority.
“It could be with the pandemic and everyone’s a little stir crazy in the house, but it doesn’t give you permission to go out and do bad things like that,” Saslawsky said.
Holmes said, “Pursue your passion but of course do it safely. Don’t put others in harm.”
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