Soft landing for drag racer who crashed into Visalia mattress store

The Fresno BeeApril 24, 2014 

A drag race down Mooney Boulevard in Visalia late Wednesday night ended with one car plowing into the storefront of Mattress Discounters.

Visalia police reported that the 19-year-old driver walked away uninjured, and the other car got away.

According to police, Joe Gaxiola was racing southbound on Mooney around 10:30 p.m. at about 70 mph when he crashed into the storefront, causing major damage to the exterior of the building and some moderate damage to merchandise inside. His vehicle came to rest inside the business.

The drag race began at about Beech Avenue and continued for about a mile, through the Caldwell Avenue intersection, before Gaxiola lost control of his car, drove through landscaping and into the mattress store.

Gaxiola told police he was racing against a black Acura.

Police said the Tulare County District Attorney's Office will review the case to see if charges will be filed against Gaxiola. The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident or the black Acura is asked to call the police traffic unit at (559) 734-8117.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, cgeorge@fresnobee.com or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.

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