Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So Speedy, So Exclusive, So Expensive, So Totaled

A deputy passes the wrecked Ferrari that crashed on Pacific Coast Highway west of Decker Canyon Road on Tuesday. The car's registered owner, Swedish millionaire Stefan Eriksson, said that he was a passenger.
(Hans Laetz / Malibu Times) Feb. 21, 2006.

This is just fricking insane! This is what happens when you're rich, bored, and incredibly stupid. You embark on this dumb stunt, destroying a beautiful piece of art. From The Los Angeles Times:

It was a SigAlert made for Malibu.

A red Ferrari Enzo — one of only 400 ever made and worth more than $1 million — broke apart Tuesday when it crested a hill on Pacific Coast Highway going 120 mph and slammed into a power pole.

The driver jumped out of the wreckage and ran into the canyon above, evading a three-hour search by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter and a mountain search-and-rescue team.

The crash did not result in serious injuries. But it sent shockwaves through both the tabloid and exotic car worlds as one group wondered if the driver was a celebrity and the other mourned the loss of a hand-built car revered by many as a work of art.

A deputy looks into the passenger compartment of the wrecked Ferrari. (Hans Laetz / Malibu Times)

A telephone pole hangs hangs by a cable tv antenna after it was hit by Stefan Eriksson's Ferrari. (Hans Laetz / Malibu Times)

The car was certain to be owned by someone rich, if not famous. Actor Nicolas Cage owns one. And Malibu local Britney Spears has been chased in a Ferrari by the paparazzi.

But by day's end the tabloids were disappointed to learn that the demolished car had been owned by a Swedish millionaire without a Screen Actors Guild card.

Sheriff's investigators identified him as 44-year-old Stefan Eriksson, a Bel-Air resident. Officials are trying to determine whether he is the noted Swedish game designer whose firm, perhaps not surprisingly, was involved with car-racing themed video games.

Swedish millionaire Stefan Eriksson, 44, of Bel-Air, talks to a deputy after his Ferrari crashed. (Hans Laetz / Malibu Times)

Authorities said Eriksson said he was a passenger in the Ferrari, which he said was being driven by a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich.

One witness told deputies that the Ferrari appeared to be racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLR northbound along the coastal highway when the accident occurred about 6 a.m. west of Decker Road.

"It took out the pole, and part of the car went another 600 feet," Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks said. "There were 1,200 feet of debris out there."

A firefighter looks at the engine to the wrecked, million-dollar Enzo Ferrari that crashed on Pacific Coast Highway on Tuesday.
(Hans Laetz / Malibu Times)

Eriksson told authorities that "Dietrich" ran up a hill toward the canyon road and disappeared. Brooks said detectives are far from convinced they have the whole story.

Eriksson "had a .09 blood-alcohol level, but if he's a passenger, that's OK," Brooks said. "But he had a bloody lip, and only the air bag on the driver's side had blood on it. The passenger-side air bag did not. My Scooby-Doo detectives are looking closely into that.

"Maybe the 'driver' had a friend who picked him up. Maybe he thumbed a ride," the sergeant added. "Maybe he was a ghost."

Gil Lucero, a Mountain View telecommunications company executive who is president and Pacific region chairman of the Ferrari Club of America, said only 399 Enzos were at first scheduled to be assembled at the factory between 2002 and 2004, each priced at $670,000.

But a final car was built and donated to Pope John Paul II and later sold to raise $1,275,000 million for charity, Lucero said.

But what do they care? It was just a toy--a plaything!

I feel sorry for the car.

No comments: