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Nearly three months after she died in an incident tied to illegal street racing, Sanger High School student Allison Tia Chang has a memorial scholarship in her name.

Chang, 17, and her cousins, Linda Chang, 21, and Christopher Vang, 27, died after a speeding car ran a red light at Palm and Bullard avenues on Dec. 26 and smashed into their vehicle.

‘Allie’, as her mother Dana Xiong calls her, would have graduated in June. The director of the Sanger High Regional Occupation Program personally donated $250 to start the scholarship. The immediate goal is to award two scholarships this year to classmates who would have graduated with Allie. The long term goal is to solicit enough donations to create an annually recurring scholarship.

“I am in full support of this beautiful avenue to honor Allie and am devoted to helping it reach its maximum potential,” Xiong said. “It is truly a positive way to enable other students to keep striving for their educational goals.”

Swim Teammates Offer Remembrance

Tuesday afternoon, the Sanger High swim team will host their ‘Senior Night’ where the swimmers dress up, create hand painted posters for each of the seniors on the team and jump into the pool afterward. The team is creating a poster in memory of Allie as well.

“It is truly a positive way to enable other students to keep striving for their educational goals.”–Dana Xiong, mother of Allison ‘Allie’ Chang

“These kids will have an amazing poster made for Allie,” said swim coach Hillary Boos. She says a the seniors will be recognized following Tuesday’s swim meet.

Allison Tia Chang Memorial Scholarship

According to the school, Chang was very active, attending nearly every high school event. She participated in water polo, swim, and served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.

“Allie was small in stature but had a big heart. She had a charismatic presence on campus,” says teacher Dawn Pearson who is helping spearhead the scholarship. “The scholarship is set aside for students who are interested in journalism , photography and athletics, all areas where she excelled and spent the majority of her time.”

Pearson also wants to help further awareness of the dangers of street racing by continuing to tell Allie’s story year after year.

“We hope people will remember this tragedy and think twice before engaging in the reckless behavior that took Allie’s life and the lives of her cousins. We miss her terribly,” said Pearson.

Pearson says people can donate into the scholarship for this year’s fund up until May 1. She is hoping they raise enough money to aware two $500 scholarship winners. “If we get more donations we may be able to afford more,” she says.

Allie’s family will choose the two recipients in June.

Pearson said requests for additional information can be emailed to dawn_pearson@sangerusd.net

Increased Penalties Sought for ‘Sideshow’ Activities

Meanwhile, the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday passed AB 3, authored by Bakersfield Assemblyman Vince Fong, that aims to increase penalties for those convicted of illegal street racing activities.

The bill would allow judges to suspend drivers licenses for exhibition of speed offenses, which include spinning tires, doing donuts, revving engines and other common vehicle “sideshow” activities.

“We need to increase the penalties for illegal street racing activities to send a message that this activity will not be tolerated,” said Fong in a press release.

Ongoing Street Racing Operation

The Fresno Police Department has teamed up with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and the State Bureau of Automotive Repair on several street racing enforcement operations since February.

In the latest operation about a week ago, officers impounded 29 vehicles, issued 196 citations, and made 12 DUI arrests. Those numbers are pulled from the 234 vehicles that were stopped in total.

Some of the main focus areas have been on Blackstone near Nees, and Herndon between Highway 99 and Highway 41.

A CHP plane spotted a ‘sideshow’ in southwest Fresno in mid-March. The small white image at the top of the photo is a small child, according to Fresno police. The car is doing a maneuver called a ‘power jack’, where the driver locks the front brakes and spins the back tires. (California Highway Patrol)

2020 Fatal Accidents

Fresno PD says in 2020 officers responded to 55 fatal collisions resulting in 63 deaths.

The department posted the statistic on their official Instagram account with the caption, “Why we do what we do.” A picture of Allison Chang and her cousins was used in the post.

 

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A post shared by Fresno Police Department (@fresno.pd)

One Response

  1. Tom

    As long as there are youngsters in cars there will be races. Fresno itself has been a hotbed of legal racing since the late 1920s up until Kearney Bowl was lost to development and Fresno Dragways was purchased and repurposed to a landing strip. Eliminating either or both of those edifice
    Leads to increased street race activity and the inherent risk involved. There is no skill in spinning doughnuts in the middle of the street and the people attending these side shows are in as much danger as the people driving some very fast dangerous cars.
    BUILD THEM A PLACE TO RACE LEGALLY, THE COST OF SAVING A LIFE IS MUCH LESS THAN LOSING ONE TO AN ILLEGAL RACE. But Fresno isn’t smart enough to have yet realized that truth and these accidents are proof of the problem. Fresno is all caught up in its homeless pursuit and has no time to invest in its youth in cars and that’s a damned shame.

    Reply

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