Fri, Dec 23, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Man wins Lamborghini, but crashes it hours later

AP, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

A truck driver who won a Lamborghini worth about US$300,000 in a convenience store contest crashed the sports car six hours after he got it, and he now plans to sell the 640-horsepower convertible because he cannot afford the insurance or taxes.

“I already had offers on it. I’m going to sell it,” David Dopp said on Wednesday. “I have bills more important than a Lamborghini. I’ve got a family to support.”

Dopp, a 34-year-old truck driver for Frito-Lay, spun out of control just a few hours after taking the keys to the Murcielago Roadster that he won in a “Joe Schmo to Lambo” contest sponsored by Maverik convenience stores.

The lime green convertible was being held by his insurance company at a Utah towing yard. It will be sent to an authorized Las Vegas dealer for repairs next week.

Dopp said the damage “isn’t super bad” — a punctured oil pan and tire, and a few dents and scratches on the front and rear ends. The father of six said he could not afford to pay taxes on the car or the insurance, which runs US$3,500 every six months.

“That’s why rich people own them,” he said. “The poor people like me don’t.”

Dopp was taking family members and friends on joy rides the first evening. He said he took a curve at about 72kph and “hit some black ice and spun out.”

The car jumped a curb and went through a fence before coming to a rest about 23m off the road. Neither Dopp nor his passenger was injured.

“My heart pretty much fell out,” Annette Dopp told KSL-TV of Salt Lake City. “They said they were OK. Then [came], you know, that feeling when your heart drops and you’re like: ‘Oh, my gosh. What do we do now?’”

The Lamborghini was the envy of Santaquin, a town of 9,000 south of Salt Lake City. Police say the Lamborghini’s high-performance summer tires were not suited for icy conditions and the car is simply too powerful — and exceptionally light, with carbon fiber body parts. Dopp was not ticketed.

Dopp was videotaped jumping up and down and hollering in speechless disbelief when contest officials announced during a Nov. 12 college football game that he won the car.

He had to take out insurance before he could claim the car — “that was a good thing,” he says — and took the keys to the roadster on Saturday.

Dopp said he never imagined he could keep the car for long because it costs too much to own.

He also won US$5,000 worth of driving lessons.

Dopp said he would be more careful the next time he gets behind the wheel.

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