TopSpeed’s Best of 2011: Famous Crashes of the Year
Okay, so it may not exactly be appropriate to pick the best crash of the year, but considering many will be ringing in the new year in a drunken stupor, we think it best to remind everyone of the consequences of drinking and driving. Most of the drivers in the crashes we are featuring were not under the influence when these crashes occurred, but if these guys can get into a massive accident when they’re sober, chances are a drunk YOU will suffer consequences that are much worse.
This year actually brought out the worst in many drivers, some of which instigated accidents with multiple supercars, a vehicular dip into the Atlantic Ocean, and high speed rough and tumbles. Unfortunately, not all of these drivers survived these horrific crashes, which only drives home the point that we have to be extremely careful when operating our motor vehicles.
Remember to have a SAFE and fun New Year.
Hit the jump for the list of the most famous crashes of 2011.
Not one, not two, but eight Ferraris, as well as a Lamborghini, two Mercedes models, and two Toyota models were utterly destroyed during a terrible crash on a highway in Japan. The Ferraris destroyed were: several F355 units, an F-360, and an F-430. The losses were estimated at around $1.5 million, but some reported losses of up to $4 million! Fortunately no one was seriously injured in the accident, but 10 people sustained bruising and minor injuries, probably to their egos as well as their bodies.
The 2011 Texas Mile event took place in March 2011 and although we had hoped everyone would get by without a scratch, eliminating the use of a speed limit kind of makes that nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the driver of the Hinson Motorsports’ Twin Turbo Corvette Z06 got the short end of that stick as he crashed doing 230 mph during the record setting event.
Thankfully, the driver just got up and walked away from it, and had only a brief stint at the hospital. Not much more was said on his injuries, but we were very glad he was okay after his Corvette rolled over before landing back on its wheels. There were rumors suggesting the crash occurred because one of the cars that had made their run before the Corvette had "exploded its clutch leaving shrapnel at the finish line where the crash occurred."
’Jackass" star Ryan Dunn left us before he should have after being involved in a car crash in Pennsylvania in June 2011. According to TMZ as confirmed by Bam Margera’s mom, Dunn and an unidentified person died after crashing on Route 322 and New Street in West Goshen Township around 3am in what appeared to be Dunn’s Porsche 911 GT3. Reports stated that the vehicle erupted into flames and was later towed away as the crumbled mess seen in the picture above.
In a disturbing twist, Dunn - most known for his stunt in the first ’Jackass’ movie where he strategically placed a Hot Wheels car inside his bum - had apparently tweeted a photo of himself with a couple of buddies a few hours earlier. The photo showed all three gentlemen engaging in what looks to be a few alcoholic beverages. There’s been no word as to whether or not alcohol was the culprit, but other sources claimed that the vehicle was traveling at a high speed of 110 mph when the crash occurred. The West Goshen Township Police Department later confirmed that both victims "died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident." Police also stated that "speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident."
Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon dies after huge crash in IndyCar season finale
Dan Wheldon was on top of the racing world after winning his second Indianapolis 500 crown, but at IndyCar’s season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Wheldon lost his life after getting involved in a huge accident involving a total of 15 other cars. Wheldon’s car flew over another vehicle, before hitting the catch fence and catching fire as race marshals scrambled in to check on the race car driver.
Wheldon was immediately airlifted from the track to University Medical Center in Las Vegas where he was later pronounced dead from "unsurvivable injuries."
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard issued a statement shortly thereafter, in which he said: "IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race."
In addition to ending the race, the drivers all partook in a five-lap tribute in his honor.
There are times when we look back on some of the pieces here and still get a chuckle over what some loony did to their supercar that the latter certainly didn’t deserve. Certainly, we haven’t forgotten the Veyron-diving episode from a couple of years ago; that memory’s still fresh on our minds.
This year, the dubious honor of all-time dumb car crashes goes to Zahir Rana, the owner of the ZR Auto Dealership. We don’t know the full details of how it exactly happened, but apparently, Rana was behind the wheel of his EDO Competition Ferrari Enzo when the car all of a sudden made a dive straight into the Atlantic Ocean.
The race car was participating at the Targa Newfoundland 2011 when the whole debacle happened.