“The accident occurred when the driver of a red Ferrari was switching from the right lane to the left and skidded,” said Mitsuyoshi Isejima, executive officer for Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Expressway Traffic Police unit. “It was a gathering of narcissists.” The drivers were aged between 37 and 60 years old, he said.
The accident, at 10:16 a.m. on the rain-soaked Chugoku Expressway in Yamaguchi Prefecture at the western tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu, also involved three Mercedes Benz (DAI) vehicles and two Toyotas, police said. The convoy was heading from Kyushu to Hiroshima when the accident occurred. No fatalities were reported and 10 people sustained bruising and minor injuries.
The person suspected of causing the accident, a 60-year-old self-employed man from Fukuoka prefecture, may face up to three months in jail or a fine of as much as 100,000 yen ($1,280), said Isejima. The accident included a Ferrari F-360 that costs more than 18 million yen. It took longer than six hours to clear the highway of wreckage, Isejima said.
TV footage showed a Ferrari that had plowed into the outer guard rail, while another one had its engine bonnet almost ripped off.
Ferrari SpA, a unit of Fiat SpA (F), sold 493 cars in Japan last year, down from 548 in 2009, according to the website of the Japan Automobile Importers Association. All eight Ferraris involved in the accident were registered in Kyushu, police said. Miki Kataoka, a spokeswoman for Ferrari in Japan, declined to comment on the crash.
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