Flashy sports cars valued at as much as $4 million became a mangled mess in a matter of minutes on Sunday when a Ferrari leading a pack of exotic sports cars on a trip from Japanâ€™s southern island of Kyushu to Hiroshima skidded as it tried to change lanes.
Japanese reports said the crash occurred about 10.15am (local time). Police said three Mercedes Benz cars and a Lamborghini Diablo were also involved in the massive crash at the weekend on the Chugoku Expressway, in the countryâ€™s south-west.
About 10 people suffered minor injuries in the accident on Sunday morning on a 400 meter-long curve, according to the Yamaguchi prefecture police. Some have already been discharged from the hospital.
The damage caused to many of the vehicles was thought to be so severe that they will have to be scrapped.
Witnesses reported hearing a â€śtremendous noiseâ€ť just a few moments before the accident on the Yamaguchi prefecture highway amid terrible driving conditions.
Although the investigation is continuing, based on initial interviews, the type of the damage the vehicles suffered and injuries, authorities said they donâ€™t believe the cars were burning rubber as per the highway throwdowns made famous in the street racer movie series.
Wet road conditions may have caused the first car, a Ferrari driven by a 60-year-old male, to slip on the two-lane highway and smash into a guard rail. Cars behind then added to the pile-up as they tried to screech on the brakes.
Yamaguchi prefectureâ€™s highway investigation officials declined to specify how fast the cars were traveling.
A 36-year-old self-employed man from Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, said he was driving in the opposite lane at the time of the accident. “Cars were making a tremendous noise,” he said.
ANN news videoÂ of the crash aftermath shows the sportscars lying mangled on the road, a mess of ripped metal, broken glass and snapped alloy wheels, with several cars wedged up against metal barriers.
The road had to be closed for six hours while clean-up crews removed the wreckage.
The cars involved included at least two Ferrari F430s (one was the race-ready Scuderia, these days worth more than $400,000), two Ferrari 360 Modenas (each worth almost $200,000), two Ferrari F355s (each worth about $150,000) and a Lamborghini Diablo (one of the most expensive supercars of the 1990s and still likely worth upwards of $200,000).
There was also a Nissan GT-R – the only current Japanese supercar – while the cheapest invovled in the crash was a Toyota Prius hybrid, worth closer to $20,000.\
An investigation has been launched to establish the case of the crash. No one has been yet been charged over the accident.
It is the second high profile crash involving expensive luxury cars this year.Â Another â€“ involving a Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz â€“ occurred in Monaco earlier this year. [via The Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Mail]