[QUOTE][B][SIZE="5"]Astonishing accident involving eight Ferraris 'world's most expensive car crash'[/SIZE][/B]
A fleet of high-performance cars, including eight Ferraris, has been involved in one of the most expensive accidents in history after an astonishing multi-car pile-up in Japan.
By Andrew Hough
10:30PM GMT 04 Dec 2011
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 country’s south-west.
Witnesses reported hearing a “tremendous noise” just a few moments before the accident on the Yamaguchi prefecture highway amid terrible driving conditions.
While the majority of the 14 vehicles – which also included a Japanese supercar Nissan GT-R Skyline and a Toyota Prius – were travelling along the Osaka Prefecture-bound bended lane at least one Mercedes CL600 was driving in the opposite direction.
Television footage showed the cars - either wrecked or destroyed - spread across the highway, in a trail of crumpled metal and broken glass. Several of the vehicles were wedged up against the metal barriers.
Miraculously, none of drivers – the majority of whom are reported to be foreign car enthusiasts – were seriously hurt in the wreckage but the bill is still bound to be painful nonetheless.
Such was the severity of the damage, several of the luxury cars have been written off, leaving their owners with the nightmare scenario of seeing their prized possessions turned into expensive scrap metal.
The total damage bill is expected to hit several million pounds. A new Ferrari 355 retails for several hundred thousand pounds.
The other Ferrari models understood to have been involved in the pile-up include a F512, F355, F430 and a F360.
Japanese reports said the crash occurred about 10.15am (local time) on Sunday after the drivers were travelling from Hiroshima to Kyushu.
It is thought the crash occurred when the lead driver hit a central barrier after losing control of their Ferrari while trying to overtake in wet conditions.
They are then reported to have hit the central reservation before rebounding into the path of the oncoming traffic.
They then caused a chain reaction of accidents over several hundred yards as other drivers went around the bend and unable to avoid the accident.
The highway was closed for more than six hours while authorities removed the wrecked cars.
A 36-year-old self-employed man, who did not want to be named, described a scene of chaos as he was driving in the opposite lane at the time of the accident.
"Cars were making a tremendous noise," the man, from Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, told Japanese media.
Police said ten men and a woman, none of whom have been identified, were taken to hospital with minor injuries and bruising.
An investigation has been launched to establish the case of the crash. No one has been yet been charged over the accident.
[B]Drivers of supercars in Japan crash 'were speeding'[/B]
Japanese police are blaming the destruction of eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini in a £2.6 million, 14-car crash on Sunday on excessive speed.
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo
4:42PM GMT 05 Dec 2011
A witness told Japanese television that he saw the parade of supercars travelling at speeds of up to 100mph, which was double the speed limit on the Chugoku Expressway, in southern Japan, due to heavy rain that had made the surface slick.
“A group of cars was doing 140kph (87mph) to 160kph,” the unnamed man told TBS News. “One of them span and they all ended up in this huge mess.”
Another motorist described how he narrowly avoided becoming caught in what is likely to be the most expensive car crash outside of a car racing track.
“The front car crashed into the left embankment and bounced off towards me,” he said.
In all, a dozen cars have been reduced to scrap metal in the accident, including at least 10 that are among the most expensive and sough-after among collectors.
No fewer than eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini Diablo were among the victims of Sunday morning’s collision, while the other victims were two top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz, a Nissan GT-R and a Toyota Prius hybrid.
The drivers of the high-performance autos were apparently members of a car collectors’ club out for a less-than-leisurely spin, although it appears that the person behind the wheel of the Toyota Prius was simply in the wrong place when the accident occurred.
Ten men and a woman were admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment, although local police said none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Police declined a request to identify the drivers involved in the crash, although Mitsuyoshi Isejima, the executive officer of the Yamaguchi Prefecture Expressway Traffic Police, was quoted by Bloomberg as describing the drivers as “A gathering of narcissists.”
Police believe the accident was caused at around 10:15am when the driver of a red Ferrari was switching from the right lane to the left lane on a gradual 400-metre curve on the expressway, close to Shimonoseki in the far south-west tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu.
The drivers were reportedly travelling from Kyushu to the city of Hiroshima for a gathering of car enthusiasts.
Local media have reported that the driver of the car that is being blamed for the crash is a 60-year-old businessman from the city of Fukuoka. If he is convicted of dangerous driving that resulted in an accident, he could face a prison sentence of up to three months or a fine of up to Y100,000 (£820).
On the plus side, the car club has not seen its entire collection wiped out at a stroke as at least four other cars managed to avoid becoming entangled in the crash.
Still, it took local police more than six hours to clear the highway of debris and Japanese news programmes have shown repeated shots of the cars scattered across the road.
Footage taken from helicopters above the site showed one of the Ferraris had suffered a crumpled rear-end and had been shunted into the safety barrier alongside the highway. Alongside it, another two red Ferraris had come to a halt alongside each other, although pointing in opposite directions.
A few metres further on, a white sports car had come to a halt with its bonnet forced beneath the crash barrier. Beside the car, four police officers were interviewing two young women and a man.
No one has been yet been charged over the accident.