With a collective total of damage to the elite sports cars adding up to more than $4 million, it was said to be the world’s most expensive car accident: eight Ferraris and a single Lamborghini in a chain-reaction pileup on Japan’s Chugoku Expressway in Yamaguchi Prefecture in December 2011. And now, over a year later, ten drivers are finally facing charges for what local police called “a gathering of narcissists.”
The convoy of expensive sports car owners and enthusiasts were traveling on the rain-soaked section of highway in the city of Shimonoseki when the driver of the lead Ferrari lost control when changing lanes and the following vehicles, who may have been slightly exceeding the speed limit, slammed into each other, one by one. All the drivers were between the ages of 37 and 60, and six were injured, with two in serious conditions. Police say it took them over six hours to clear all the debris from the mangled Ferraris off the highway, as it was spread out over a stretch of road roughly 400 meters (0.25 miles) long.
The group of Ferraris, which included a F430 Scuderia and F360, valued at 18 million yen (approx. $190,000) and up, were driving at speeds between 140 and 160 kilometers per hour (87-99 mph) when the posted speed limit of the area was 80 kp/h (50 mph), according to a witness. The driver of the lead car was a 60 year old self-employed man from Fukuoka Prefecture; he and the nine others are being charged with accidental infliction of injury while driving. The accident involved 14 cars in total: in addition to the nine exotics were two Toyotas, which weren’t part of the sports car pack (obviously), and three Mercedes-Benzes.