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Community concerned about a group of car enthusiasts racing in local shopping center's parking lot

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 18:15:21-04

During the day it's a hub for business and food, but at night there are some who use River City Marketplace's parking lot to race trucks and sports cars, and it's beginning to upset local businesses and residents in the area.

Last weekend, a young woman, Gabriella Buller, was hit by one of those trucks. Luckily Gabriella only sustained minor injuries, but her mother, Amanda Buller, is frustrated. Buller describes the gut wrenching feeling she got when she received a phone call form her daughter that night.

"It's not a good feeling in the middle of the night," says Buller. "I didn't know too much about what had happened, so upon arrival and seeing her car like that, you would obviously expect the worst."

Gabriella was hit by the truck when she was making a left turn into the Raising Cane's parking lot. She says that the driver of the truck sped through a stop sign and slammed into her.

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Gabriella's Car

"He had apologized for what he had done and said that his brakes weren't working," says Buller. "However he stated that he was only doing ten miles per hour."

Buller says by the looks of the skid marks from Gabriella's car on the pavement, the driver of the truck had hit her so hard that it pushed her back eight parking spaces.

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Skid Marks from Gabriella's Car

Buller says that when the police arrived, they told her there was nothing that can be done since the accident took place on private property.

"They did state that it is illegal, the excessive speed through parking lots," says Buller. "However, there was nothing that they could do because it was private property."

Buller isn't the only one who is fed up with the excessive speeding through the parking lot and racing at night. Crystal Rogers, the owner of Silver Suitcase, is concerned for her customers.

"We have customers, and we have customers that are walking that parking lot and going to eat here and there," says Rogers. "For our shopping center, what we want is for you to park and be able to walk to all of the different spots, so to us this is a huge concern."

Many people on social media echoed those worries.

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Rachel Pinell's Facebook Post

"I think it's going to take someting bigger to happen, or for that to constantly keep happening to stop them from doing it," says Rogers.

We did reach out to the Lafayette Police Department to find out what they are doing about the issue, but have not yet heard back, but we will continue to ask until we get an answer.

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