Friends and Family Grieve Death of Innocent, Street Racing Accident Victim

Friends and family are mourning the death of a 33-year-old Dallas architect who died an innocent victim in a street racing accident.

Brandon Burris was a graduate of Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. He received an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech and a graduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

“We were about as close as they come,” the victim’s brother, Clayton Burris said.  “It developed into more of a friendship than a brotherhood and I haven’t seen that sort of circumstance much out there in the world. It’s going to be tough.”

Burris was killed just a few blocks from his Dallas home Sunday night at the corner of Dixie Lane and Buckner Boulevard. Burris’ girlfriend and coworker Angelica Figueroa was severely injured.

Clayton Burris said the couple was going out for dinner around 7 p.m. when the crash happened.

A fundraiser drive is now underway to help pay for Figueroa’s care.

“She will be undergoing a number of surgeries and a long recovery but she’s surrounded by friends, family,” Clayton Burris said.

Police charged 23-year-old Anthony Gakuo with racing on the highway causing bodily injury. 

Records show Gakuo was released from the Dallas County Jail on $50,000 bond. A message left at his home address Friday was not returned.

Witnesses reported seeing his red Camero racing another Camero heading north on Buckner from Interstate 30, just before the accident.

Neighbors started a petition drive to install a traffic signal at the intersection.

Burris and Figueroa worked at Architexas, an architecture firm with a downtown Dallas office.

David Chase, a principal with the firm, said Burris was best known for his work on the Joule Hotel on Main Street in Dallas.

Chase said relocation of large mosaics in the Joule Hotel lobby that once were in the Merchantile Building on Main Street, was largely Burris’ work.

“He just slaved over it, so passionate about it. And it’s beautiful,” Chase said. “He was the workhorse in our office. Anything that needed to be done, he was called upon. And he did it. He was very proud of it.”

Visitation was scheduled Friday night and a funeral service Saturday afternoon for Brandon Burris at Restland Cemetery and Funeral Home in Dallas.

Neighbors Concerned About Speeding in the Area

A man who witnessed the crash said it was only a matter of time. Blake Jessup lives across from where it happened and says he has asked police and the city to do something about people speeding along that stretch of North Buckner Boulevard.

“I knew it was going to happen. It was just a matter of time,” Jessup said. “I just didn’t think that I would see it. It’s ironic, it’s cruel.”

Jessup was on his way home from the store when saw the collision happen.

“I got out of my car with my phone, ran up and told the emergency operator that someone was dead and they needed ambulances,” Jessup said. “I’ve been complaining for years and no one will listen, and I told them on the phone I’m the one that’s complained and now I get to the be one to tell you that someone died.”

The city said it has no requests for speed bumps or signals in the area, but it is willing to work with citizens to identify and implement appropriate traffic calming measures.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood contributed to this report.

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