The world's costliest write-off

840,000 car may be written off after crash

6th March 2007

It is possibly the most expensive road crash ever to take place in Britain.

Businessman Kumar Soni is facing the prospect of writing off his 830,000 ($1,660,000) Bugatti supercar after a horrific accident saw it spin out of control, crash into a vehicle driven by a pregnant woman and smash into a hedgerow.

Aaargh: The Veyron as it should NOT be

The French made model crashed on Sunday afternoon near the 3 million Surrey home of the car's 41-year-old owner.

Yesterday insurance assessors were left examining what remained of the supercar - capable of reaching a top speed of 253 mph - and deciding whether the vehicle could be repaired or is destined for the breakers' yard.

It is not known who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

The Veyron as is should be

But neighbours of the wealthy Soni family claiming the accident had caused a furious row between Kumar Soni and his younger brother 39-year-old Ajay, prompting speculation the owner of the rare car was not the driver.

It is thought the vehicle was only delivered to the family home last week.

Photographs taken immediately after Sunday's accident show Ajay Soni inspecting damage to the car along with a family friend.

The car left the road on a 40mph stretch of the B375 road near Chertsey, Surrey shortly after 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

Locals told yesterday how the low slung car had been driving repeatedly through Shepperton before heading for the B road as a heavy rainstorm began.

The sleek Bugatti Veyron - one of only a dozen such models in the UK - had been hand-built at the company's French base in Alsace and is as powerful as a Formula One car.

The eight litre 1,000 horsepower engine beneath the bonnet is capable of taking the vehicle from 0-60 in just 2.5 seconds.

The world's most expensive and fastest 'street legal' car was travelling along the quiet Surrey road just after 3pm when fellow motorists claimed it 'roared' past them.

It was claimed the car had been travelling in excess of 100mph before the driver appeared to lose control and the car struck a glancing blow to a Vauxhall Astra car being driven by a seven - month pregnant woman.

The supercar then spun three times before crashing into trees on a roadside bank before coming to rest.

Police arrived at the scene within minutes and a passing motorist took photographs of the severely damaged Bugatti - along with a devastated Ajay Soni looking at the wreckage.

Mr Soni and his older brother Kumar - along with their father 64-year-old Sutantar - run a number of car hire, property and management companies based in London's Mayfair.

The family - which includes two daughters in their thirties - live in a 3m mansion at Shepperton, Surrey, which is less than a mile from the crash scene.

While they have lived in the property for ten years they are said to 'keep themselves to themselves'.

Immediately after the accident the female driver of the Astra was taken to hospital in Chertsey but later released after a check-up.

Mr Soni gave his details to police officers and is currently being investigated for driving without due care and attention.

Yesterday one eye-witness told the Daily Mail: "The rain was lashing down when the accident happened and the car spun three times before clipping the Astra.

"One motorist who stopped told the police he thought the car had passed him at around 100 mph and it made him flinch as the car threw up spray from the road as it roared past him.

"After the accident there was more trouble for the driver when a man arrived in a dark VW 4 x 4 with personalised number plate.

"He was shouting and screaming and saying to him that he could not believe he had crashed the car."

It is thought the angry motorist was Ajay Soni's 41-year-old brother who is known to drive a 4X4 VW.

An hour after Sunday's accident - and as the Bugatti Supercar was placed on a recovery vehicle to be taken to a specialist garage - Mr Soni and his companion were seen walking in the rain towards the family's mansion home.

"The other man in the 4X4 had already driven off in dIsgust and did not seem to be in the mood to offer the two men a lift home," said the eye-witness.

Yesterday Nick Lancaster, chief executive of dealer HR Owen, which sold the car last year, said: "It is the first Veyron I have heard of being damaged. We cannot say yet whether it is written off or not."

Yesterday despite numerous attempts to contact them neither Mr Soni Snr nor his son Kumar were available for comment.

A spokesman for Surrey police said that no one had been injured in the accident but added: "Officers are investigating whether the man behind the wheel was driving without due care and attention.

"Such investigations can typically take up to four months before it is decided whether or not there will be a prosecution."
it's a little sick that this article breifly mentions the pregnant woman in the other car and then goes on for hundreds of words about how expensive the car was.

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