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      02-11-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
Year's_End
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Insideline Covers the M5 Crash

If you're tired of hearing about this on this forum, then sorry, but there's more coverage.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...hotopanel..3.*

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The Short, Deadly Story of a Kid and his M5

Date posted: 01-28-2008

He posted on the BMW M5 forum — www.M5board.com — as "AmericanM5," the proud new owner of a 2008 BMW M5 painted Space Gray.

He had a problem. It happened when he had "everything set to max" and changed gear with the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. As he said, "and I'm going pedal to the metal pushing 140 and upshifting, there tends to be a thud noise with the gear change." AmericanM5 wanted to know if this was normal.

And he added: "Let me say I am a beginner when it comes to high-performance cars as I am only 18, so take it easy on me."



Reality Check
The forum members told him that yes, the sensation of an abrupt gear engagement is normal with the M5's automated sequential manual transmission, but several also took the opportunity to express their concerns.

Wrote one: "It's just disturbing to know...that an 18-year-old who is asking these questions about a 500-horsepower car is driving the same streets I am. I don't have anything against young guys driving nice cars, but an 18-year-old being [behind] the wheel of an M5 is what accidents are made of."

AmericanM5 responded: "I completely understand where you are coming from, assuming that I am irresponsible...that is definitely understandable. I do sometimes make bad decisions but I am young and I do drive safe and I will not endanger the lives of others."

These posts were dated January 25, 2008.



Space Gray
At 3:30 a.m. on January 26, a 2008 BMW M5 painted Space Gray flew off the raised end of a runway at a private airport just outside Ocala, Florida, sailed 200 feet through the air and stuck a huge tree. The impact with the tree occurred 15 feet off the ground. Five young men, aged 18 to 20, were killed instantly.

Members of the M5Board began to put the pieces together. AmericanM5 said he was 18, had a 2008 M5 in Space Gray, and said he lived in the Ocala area. And he signed one of the posts, "Josh."

The driver of the crashed M5 had been Josh Ammirato.

Experience Counts
Apparently AmericanM5 had not been entirely truthful in his postings. The M5 belonged not to him, but instead to his father.

When members of the M5board forum had made this suggestion online, AmericanM5 bristled: "It's mine, buddy. I just traded in my 335i and paid the difference."

Another member suggested that AmericanM5's lack of knowledge about the BMW M5's transmission could be easily explained: "Maybe your two years' driving experience in your whole life is the problem."

AmericanM5 responded: "That could be a good assumption but the fact I never drive a manual car before may be true, but I've been driving for a lot longer than two years, buddy."

Reports indicate that Ammirato had received four traffic citations in the last two years.

Is This for Real?
The crash occurred at the Greystone Airport, which is bordered on one side by Jumbolair Estates, a fly-in community where actor and pilot John Travolta lives; he filed a suit in 2007 to compel the owners to allow him to land his Boeing 707 on the strip.

The fly-in community was built by the late Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment. The airstrip is 7,550 feet (1.5 miles) long and is 210 feet wide. Apparently it can be accessed through an unguarded gate.

The five occupants of the M5 had attended a basketball game, and then a party where they were celebrating the 19th birthday of Dustin "Smiley" Dawe, one of the men killed.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported that there was evidence of skid marks at the end of the runway, indicating the car had turned sideways before crossing a sloped embankment and sailing through the air and into the tree. Alcohol does not appear to have been involved. The accident made headlines in the Ocala Star-Banner.

A Final Word
The final exchange between AmericanM5 and the rest of the forum members came late on January 25.

Some members wondered if the 18-year-old M5 owner was for real, and suggested that he post some photos of his car. Others wondered why a teenager would opt for an expensive sedan instead of more conventional sports car like a Porsche.

A forum member from Queensland, Australia, applauded AmericanM5's decision to get a BMW: "I would much prefer an 18-year-old with brains to have an M5 rather than spend his money on some other piece of junk that could kill him and his mates in an accident," wrote M5DAL, a forum member since 2004. He continued: "If you crash in a big way, expect to be on the news."

"Thanks, guys, don't get me wrong," AmericanM5 wrote. "I never said I didn't respect your wisdom. Thanks for the welcome, and I am looking forward to getting to know you guys better...and I plan to have all the pics up tomorrow. Josh."

That was his last post.
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      02-11-2008, 01:12 AM   #2
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very sad story but that's what happens when you throw a young boy behind the wheel of a beast.

his ego gets in the way.
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      02-11-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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i dont know what got it worse... him or the M5...
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      02-11-2008, 02:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M KiLLa CaM 3 View Post
i dont know what got it worse... him or the M5...
M5s can be replaced. The driver and the passengers with him, can't.
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      02-11-2008, 03:43 AM   #5
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...but there are many out there like him.
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      02-11-2008, 04:55 AM   #6
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r.i.p.
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      02-11-2008, 05:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stooken View Post
very sad story but that's what happens when you throw a young boy behind the wheel of a beast.

his ego gets in the way.
+1
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      02-11-2008, 06:16 AM   #8
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Very sad story.
thx for sharing...
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      02-11-2008, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
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...but there are many out there like him.
Nuts. And yes, there's plenty of people like that out there.
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      02-11-2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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Sad stuff, but this is old news.
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      02-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #11
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I'm sure his friends were egging him on too. Very sad story.
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      02-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #12
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Wow, that is simply terrible... now I know why my parents wouldn't let me get an M6 (I am 20 yo). Although I did drive my father's 996 Turbo all the time and never hit 100 once, so I would consider myself a somewhat safe driver, but still, only time driving and experience matter in the end. I will end up with an M3 or S5, so no complaints here, but what a tragic accident, especially for the passengers who may have never expected the driver to reach such high and dangerous speeds.
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      02-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #13
Year's_End
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blob View Post
Sad stuff, but this is old news.
Obviously.
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      02-11-2008, 11:51 PM   #14
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Just a terrible sad story. His pops should be incarcerated.
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