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  • US won't pay for Ferrari wrecked by FBI agent

    I actually feel bad for the guy. I'm sure he wasn't messing around, and just couldn't control the car.

    Based on the few statements provided by the feds I think it’s cut and dry. I’m not saying the agent was joy riding. I’m saying the agent was overwhelmed by the car and simply couldn’t control it, and not trained to drive a top of the food chain race car applied to much gas when the wheels weren’t straight and the rear end came around on him.

    When the thing started to get loose on him he likely cut the gas, traction then immediately grabbed and wherever the wheels were pointed is where they car went.

    ************

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...1D32.DTL&tsp=1


    (05-20) 13:26 PDT DETROIT (AP) --

    An FBI agent assigned to move a rare Ferrari wrecked it during a short drive in Kentucky, and its owner is now suing the U.S. Justice Department, which has refused to pay $750,000 for the car.

    The Justice Department recently responded to the lawsuit by saying it's not liable for certain goods when they're in the hands of law enforcement. The government also has refused to release most documents related to the crash.

    The Ferrari F50 was stolen in 2003 from a dealer in Rosemont, Pa., and discovered five years later. The FBI kept it in Lexington, Ky., as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

    FBI agent Fred Kingston was to move the Ferrari from a garage in May 2009. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson said Kingston invited him on a "short ride."

    "Just a few seconds after we left the parking lot, we went around a curve and the rear of the car began sliding," Thompson said in an email released to Motors Insurance Co., the dealer's insurer.

    "The agent tried to regain control but the car fishtailed and slid sideways up onto the curb. The vehicle came to rest against a row of bushes and a small tree," Thompson said.

    He was not hurt, but Kingston needed a few stitches for a cut on his head.

    Motors Insurance took ownership of the car after it paid the dealer for the theft. The company told the government that the 1995 Ferrari, one of only 50 in the U.S., suffered substantial damage in the Kentucky crash and is a "total loss."

    "At heart, it is a race vehicle" and is not built like a typical car, truck or SUV, the insurer said in a claim for payment, partly explaining why it sought $750,000.

    The Southfield, Mich.-based company filed a lawsuit in March after the Justice Department refused to pay. Motors Insurance has also filed a lawsuit to try to get records about the incident through the federal Freedom of Information Act.

    The government has been secretive, saying most records are exempt. It only released Thompson's email.

    "We don't really know what happened. We've asked for a lot of information," Motors Insurance attorney Richard Kraus said in an interview this week.

    A judge has set a June 13 hearing in the case.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1MvnsKrbO
    _____________
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

  • #2
    should have towed it
    "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
    The Tick

    "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
    sanitizer

    "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
    Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

    Comment


    • #3
      The agent had to be driving like a maniac. It's certainly a dynamically unforgiving car, but if you are approaching 70% of it's limits on a public street, you are driving extremely irresponsibly.

      513 hp @ 8000rpm + 2976 lb = you better respect it
      Last edited by Carbonfiberfoot; 05-20-2011, 05:13 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        .

        Should have towed it.




        Sounds to me like someone was joy-riding.




        They should pay for it.
        .

        Comment


        • #5
          ^^agreed...joy riding or accidental...they should pay
          "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
          The Tick

          "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
          sanitizer

          "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
          Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Carbonfiberfoot View Post
            The agent had to be driving like a maniac. It's certainly a dynamically unforgiving car, but if you are approaching 70% it's limits on a public street, you are driving extremely irresponsibly.

            513 hp @ 8000rpm + 2976 lb = you better respect it
            What I don't think you might get is it is rather easy for someone not familiar with what is essentially a Formula 1 car to completely lose control just driving it out of a driveway.

            These cars will rev up as fast as a race motorcycle, and the clutch is essentially an ON/OFF button.

            He had no business in the car not because of “maturity” but because he lacked training.

            To make a weak attempt at an analogy, if training with a Glock is not considered the same as training with a 1911, and some departments require special training to even carry a 1911 how can one assume an officer trained to drive a common Sedan has the needed skill set to drive a Formula 1 car any given distance?

            We wasn’t a maniac. He simply couldn’t control the car.

            Respect doesn’t equal ability. It’s like playing a musical instrument. It takes a lot of time to get the hang of it.

            OK, I don’t think he was “joy riding”.

            I have seen on multiple occasions folks hand the keys to their friends to race cars and race motorcycles in the pits at race events. These people had no intention to damage the equipment they were just entrusted with but their reference points of common cars was so off of base their merely trying to back the car out or lurch the motorcycle forward sent them rocketing and crashing.

            All they were trying to do was go into first gear. People were pressing the gas and then letting the clutch out when the engines are so touchy and the clutches so strong one has to basically bog down the car in order to move forward in a controlled manner. One has to keep OFF the gas, and let the idle level of the car lurch it forward into first.
            Last edited by SCV-Sop; 05-20-2011, 05:36 PM.
            _____________
            "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

            "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
            - Cornelius Tacitus

            Comment


            • #7
              Twin plate clutches have a little bit of a learning curve, but are not all that difficult to modulate.

              I still say there is a 99% chance he was trying to rotate the car with the gas pedal. The sweet forbidden sound that Italian engines make over 8000 rpm is hard for mortal men to resist, especially if this was his first time behind the wheel of one.

              You are much more understanding of throttle initiated over-steer on public roads than most officers.

              Consistently driving a car at 80% is easy, driving a car at 90% takes talent, driving a car at 95-100% will pay you millions of dollars per year.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Carbonfiberfoot View Post
                You are much more understanding of throttle initiated over-steer on public roads than most officers.
                1) I’m not a LEO.
                2) I’m familiar with driving cars/motorcycles to their engineered limits, and knowing my own personal limits when to get out of a car or simply back off dramatically and “learn the car”.
                3) More importantly when I start to lose a car or have lost it I know how to just go with the flow and minimize the worst of what’s going to happen in the next split second. That lack of skill is what got the agent in trouble.
                a. Every driver enters a car for the first time at some point, but their ability to recover from a new powerful car is what’s important. Otherwise you can’t find that limit.

                I would say generally cars are only driven at 30% of their capabilities on the streets. 70% is race level for a bottom tier racer who knows what he’s doing.

                Having looped a few myself and had my own modest share of experiences of going beyond my limits I can see where losing control like this can be construed as joy riding.

                If someone said to me (with a car wrapped around a tree) that it simply got away from them I can totally see how it could happen.

                Now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t any less guilty for reckless driving.

                A quarter throttle of a sedan is not the same as a quarter throttle in a Ferrari. Similarly, clutch footwork is also not the same. Those are learned motor skills, and they are highly perishable.

                It is entirely possible for someone only trained to drive a common sedan to destroy a race car inside of 5 seconds from them getting into it for the first time if an instructor isn’t hovering over them.

                Some cars are just not intuitive. To make matters worse this particular car has un-assisted steering (i.e. non power steering). So you REALLY have to crank it when not moving, if you are not used to that and you and you are heavier on the gas than you need to be your going to have a wider turning radius than expected. If you don’t have power steering you really need to be aware that the car has to be rolling for it to turn easily.

                All the worst elements of driver skill and car performance came together here in one place and time.

                I say no joy riding. I simply say absolute incompetence.
                _____________
                "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

                "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
                - Cornelius Tacitus

                Comment


                • #9
                  I doubt he was "joy riding" in the usual sense, but it was most likely what we v&t cops like to call "speed not reasonable and prudent". But hell, I was found to be travelling at an unsafe speed after an on duty wreck when I was doing 25 in a 35 during icy conditions on my way to an accident, so it is what it is. It just sucks that the FBI/DOJ doesnt have his back to cover the cost for an on duty wreck. And I agree, for a 3/4 million dollar car, they should have put it on a flatbed.
                  I make my living on Irish welfare.

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                  • #10
                    Yet, we are sending $$ to Egypt and Pakistan.
                    I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So why in any scenario would police be driving around in someone else's property? That's like driving a stolen car to the impound lot after an arrest, you call the transport people the dept. has the contract with, that is bonded and insured, you don't just have officer friendly drive it. If you are going to possess and use other people property you need to have insurance or the ability to pay for any loss.

                      I predict they are going to loose, the insurance company has more lawyers than the police dept. does.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by David Hineline View Post
                        So why in any scenario would police be driving around in someone else's property? That's like driving a stolen car to the impound lot after an arrest, you call the transport people the dept. has the contract with, that is bonded and insured, you don't just have officer friendly drive it. If you are going to possess and use other people property you need to have insurance or the ability to pay for any loss.

                        I predict they are going to loose, the insurance company has more lawyers than the police dept. does.
                        It's not just any police agency its the Federal Bureau of Investigations...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Usually, the denial of a claim is the first necesary step in filing a lawsuit. In Alabama, if a claimant files a suit, and has not first filed a claim, the court will dismiss the suit. I'm not 100% if this will apply in action in Federal Court. The sequence runs as follows. Claim is filed. Claim is denied. Suit is filed. Hopefully, one of our Attorney colleagues can provide some additional insights.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This isn't the first time this happened. I remember a similar case in San Francisco. An agent was chasing a convict around SF in a commandeered Ferrari because the convict was supposed to help lead a team of Navy SEALs onto Alcatraz to take out a rogue team of Marines who were threatening to launch nerve gas at the city. Then the Ferrari got smashed by a streetcar and the agent had to continue the pursuit on a dirtbike. Anyone remember this?
                            "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
                            -Chris Rock

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why in the world would they need to keep it 6 years for an investigation?

                              Comment

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