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Bugatti crash driver in court over fraud claims
Remember that video clip showing a Bugatti Veyron crashing into a lagoon? Well, the insurance company isn’t buying the driver’s version of the events, and is taking him to court over attempted fraud.
Car dealer Andy House was behind the wheel, and claims he swerved to avoid a pelican in the road – a manoeuvre that ended with the Veyron’s now infamous close encounter with three-feet of salt water.
The incident took place three years ago, on an Interstate 45 feeder road in Texas. House was unaware he was being videoed by passers-by at the time, but the crash has subsequently been watched 3.7 million times on YouTube.
Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co.’s first issue is with the apparent absence of the pelican – which it says isn’t visible in the recording. It also points out the lack of skid marks, suggesting no attempt was made to slow the car before it entered the lagoon.
Furthermore, it’s expressed surprise that a self-confessed performance car dealer would leave the Veyron running underwater for “over 15 minutes”, rather than switching it off straight away. This, the insurers suggest, was a deliberate attempt to cause additional damage to the Bugatti’s 16-cylinder, quad turbocharged engine.
House took out a $2.2 million dollar insurance policy on the car with the firm just three weeks before the accident. The 2006 Veyron reportedly cost $1.2 million; the insurers claim he “intentionally drove the Bugatti into the lagoon to destroy the car and collect proceeds approximately twice the value of the car.”
It also says that in addition to the video evidence it has an informant who alleges House offered to pay him money to steal and then set light to the vehicle.
House, who own Performance Auto Sales in Lufkin, Texas, is countersuing Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. for failing to pay out the $2.2 million owed for the ruined machine.
The civil lawsuit court case is scheduled to begin in Galveston, Texas, this week.
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