- May 4th 2007 at 8:27AM
A matter of time: One killed, one injured, Gumball cancelled
UPDATE: This tragic accident has claimed its second civilian life. The wife of the man killed yesterday died from her injuries today in the Skopje Clinic Center. Read the update
This year's edition of The Gumball 3000 is no more, after a hit-and-run accident in Macedonia left a man dead and his wife in the hospital in critical condition. Nick Morley (who was driving) and Matthew McConville, in a Techart 911 Turbo, crossed the center line and crashed into a Macedonian couple in a VW Golf. The 67-year-old man died of a supposed heart attack according to a Gumball press release. His wife remains there with serious injuries.
There's an expression that goes "It's not the crime, it's the cover up" that gets you. In this case it was both. As if the "hit" weren't bad enough, it was followed by "and run" when Nick and Matthew tried to flee on foot. They were picked up by a Gumballer in a BMW with Russian plates and made it as far as the Macedonia-Albania border, where they were arrested. The driver of the BMW was held briefly then released. Nick has been arrested and placed under 30-day temporary detention in Macedonia, charged with "heavy violation of traffic safety" and "failure to help an injured person." Then Gumball HQ flubbed the crisis management. Apparently they didn't put out a release for at least 24 hours and wouldn't answer questions about the accident in the Gumball forum. When they finally did issue a statement, it said the driver died of a heart attack on the way to the hospital (brought on by. . .?) and that the drivers immediately reported the accident.
Perhaps Germany and Turkey are now glad they prevented this year's Gumball from passing through. As far as Europe goes, next year's Gumball will probably be lucky if it's allowed to do laps in a parking lot. However, it probably will go on; when that much much money is involved, a way will be found -- but don't look for it on the Continent. Follow the 'Read' link for more details, the press releases, and a video clip of the accident aftermath.