Lamborghini driver crashes car hours after winning it

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 21, 2011 10:33 PM
Lamborghini driver crashes car hours after winning it

By James Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A Utah truck driver who won a $380,000 Lamborghini in a contest said on Wednesday a patch of ice was to blame for his crashing the high-performance sports car six just hours after he took possession of it.

Dave Dopp, 34, who was awarded the vehicle last month in a "Joe Schmo-to-Lambo" giveaway benefit sponsored by a convenience store chain, wrecked the car on Saturday evening in the town of Santaquin, south of Provo, while giving a ride to a friend.

The bright, lime green Lamborghini LP 640 careened off the road through a fence and into a field, sustaining extensive body damage, but no one was hurt.

"We were coming up on a hill on the south end of Santaquin, came around a corner, and I wasn't even going that fast," he said in an interview. "A car was coming towards us. I'm sure I wasn't going fast or anything. We just hit a patch of black ice and ended up in a field."

Dennis Howard, director of public safety in Santaquin, said it appeared Dopp was merely "unfamiliar" with the vehicle, adding, "I don't think he was used to 700 horsepower."

Dopp estimates he gave rides to 30 to 40 people during the six hours that he had possession of the car.

"I wanted to make it a good experience for everybody that I knew," he said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in a Lamborghini, let alone own one."

Dopp's reaction to winning the car was videotaped at a Brigham Young University football game in November. The footage shows Dopp responding first with a glazed look, then jumping up and down when he realized he had really won the car.

The contest was organized to promote awareness and treatment of rare neurological diseases.

For the 9,100 residents of the agricultural community of Santaquin it was big news when Dopp won the car and bigger news when he wrecked it.

"It's the only Lamborghini I've towed. I've never had a Lamborghini before," said the manager of Alexander's Towing in Santaquin, who asked not to be identified.

Dopp said the Lamborghini has since been shipped to Las Vegas for repairs.

When he gets the car back, Dopp said he would likely put the vehicle up for sale.

"I'm a father of six children. It's a great blessing to have it and experience it, but I'm looking at selling it and buying a more practical car for a family and pay off some bills."

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan)