Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Selmer Drag Racer Had Prior DUI, Records Show

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 4:00 AM

By Woody Baird (AP) - An Australian drag-racer whose car careened into a crowd of spectators during a car show parade, killing six young people, was convicted of drunken driving in Virginia in 2000, court records show.

Troy Warren Critchley pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in April 2000, according to court records from Loudoun County, Va.

He lost his driver's license for a year and paid $381 in fines and court costs, the record shows.

Critchley lost control of the dragster Saturday during a "burnout exhibition" at a Cars for Kids charity event in Selmer, a small town about 80 miles east of Memphis.

The burnout, with the powerful car spinning its wheels and sending up clouds of smoke, was staged on a city street with no protective barriers between the dragster and hundreds of spectators lining both sides of the road.

Six spectators, ages 15 to 22, were killed and at least 23 other people were injured, many seriously.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash and no criminal charges have been filed.

District Attorney General Mike Dunavant said Critchley has given a blood sample that will be tested for drugs and alcohol.

No one answered the door Tuesday at Critchley's rural home in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall, and a neighbor told The Associated Press he had not seen Critchley since the accident.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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