Sideshows Are Dangerous for Everyone

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June 08, 2020
Edward Smith

California Sideshows Continue Despite COVID-19 

Sideshows are continuing in California. You might wonder what a sideshow is. That is easy to answer. First off, it’s illegal. The more definitive answer is that it is defined as an informal gathering where several hundred people come together to watch automotive stunts. The most popular are figure eights and donuts. These gatherings can be in an intersection, on a major street or highway or in a vacant lot. The sideshows usually block traffic and are held in major cities. 

Defying a Pandemic

In light of the restrictions placed on California residents due to COVID-19, the sideshows are doing a lot more than blocking traffic. On Easter, April 12, 150 vehicles found their way to the Florin Road and Palmer House Drive sideshow. So did about 300 revelers. 

The show ended with the arrest of four individuals. Once the police arrived at this South Sacramento sideshow, the crowd dispersed along Highway 99. A vehicle with three occupants fled the scene after striking a CHP patrol car. 

The driver was arrested for hit and run. Two other occupants, both juveniles, complained of pain and were taken to a local hospital. Once they are medically cleared, authorities said they too will be arrested. The officer was reported to be uninjured in the crash. A second sideshow participant, who tried to slow traffic, was arrested for reckless driving.

Random Sideshows in South Sacramento

Other sideshows continued to build throughout the area. One such gathering near Jacinto Avenue and Center Parkway dispersed, according to authorities. 

Oakland and San Francisco Sideshows

On March 29, a large group of more than 400 people assembled to watch a sideshow at an intersection. Police were able to arrest three individuals, towed 14 cars, and cited 12 other people. This display of disobedience from social distancing rules puts everyone at risk. 

San Francisco’s sideshows occurred first in the last part of February. This preceded the stay in place orders in this area. The sideshows occurred in five locations in the early hours of a Sunday. The attendees and those who took part in the events alluded capture by the San Francisco Police Department. The department took to downloading license plate numbers off of social media platforms as attendees posted the events. 

Danger of Sideshows

The danger inherent in sideshows is obvious. Aside from spreading COVID-19, the drivers and passengers are at risk of injuries or wrongful death. So are spectators since some of the drivers lose control of their vehicles and hit those watching the spectacle. Pedestrians in the area are at high risk of injury.  

Sideshows often result in fights or disorderly conduct. For those who are in the area of the demonstration as well as those involved in the show, this can be dangerous. Finally, the men and women of the various police forces are also taking a risk as they try to quell the disturbance. 

Pandemic Dangers

In the past few months, it has been clear that social distancing and wearing face coverings are ways to decrease the number of cases. Staying at home rules and those preventing close contact are broken by those staging sideshows. Participants and onlookers rarely wear face masks, making the spread of COVID-19 all the more dangerous. While many individuals are tired of being housebound, this activity hurts everyone. Innocent passersby are often hurt in the sideshow.

Investigating a Sideshow Accident

Pedestrians are often seriously hurt during these events. Some are killed, and others lose limbs or experience a head injury. At our firm, we send our investigators to the scene quickly to find and interview witnesses to the accident. They also review police reports for inaccuracies. Since many sideshows occur at intersections, our investigators look for traffic surveillance cameras that captured the accident as it happened. Our lawyers are then able to use this accumulated data to build a robust case for our client to obtain financial compensation.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a sideshow, phone me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can reach out to me online too.

I’ve helped residents of Sacramento for the past 38 years in all types of car accidents, wrongful death cases and other traumatic injuries.

I am a proud member of the following organizations:

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