Speeding blamed for pileup involving 8 Ferraris, 1 Lamborghini
Speeding was fingered as a possible cause Monday of what is believed to be Japan’s most expensive ever road accident when up to 300 million yen worth of supercars ended up in a crumpled heap on the Chugoku expressway in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Television footage showed mangled Ferraris—many of them racing red—and debris spread over some 400 meters of the east-bound side of the expressway, the main trunk road in southern Honshu.
Those behind slammed on their brakes, but for many of them it was apparently too late.
“I’ve never seen such a thing,” highway patrol lieutenant Eiichiro Kamitani told AFP by telephone. “Ferraris rarely travel in such large numbers.”
Kamitani said 10 people—five men and five women—sustained slight injuries, in the accident. “It is highly possible that they were driving in couples.”
“Many of them were probably on their way to Hiroshima,” some 130 kilometers to the east, for a gathering of supercars there, said Kamitani.
“Speeding was possible but we have yet to determine the exact cause,” he added.
An unidentified male eyewitness told the TBS network: “A group of cars was doing 140-160 kilometers per hour. One of them spun and they all ended up in this great mess.”
The speed limit on that section of the highway was 80 kilometers per hour.
“The front car crashed into the left embankment and bounced off toward me,” another man told public broadcaster NHK.
One of the Ferraris was reported to be a F430 Scuderia, a model with a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour.
Kamitani said the lead Ferrari was being driven by a 60-year-old self-employed man from Chikushino, near Fukuoka in Kyushu.
Japanese media said the total cost of the pile-up could run to 300 million yen, with new Ferraris retailing at more than 20 million yen each and Lamborghinis costing anything up to 30 million yen.
Supercars are not necessarily owned by the super-rich in Japan. Many owners are young people who save up their earnings to satisfy their dream, according to media.