My Car Quest

April 13, 2024

Death In The Wee Hours – Questions About A Lamborghini Crash

by Wallace Wyss –

A few days ago, in early November, an Italian sports car crashed in San Diego on a major street running alongside the harbor. I saw the picture and couldn’t believe the Lamborghini (maybe a Aventador) burned right down to the rocker panels.

The driver was killed at the crash site but the woman passenger thrown free, only to die a few days later.

Witnesses said that the incident happened about 2 AM as the Lambo driver was speeding at nearly 100 mph near the 900 block of North Harbor Drive when his car left the roadway, hit a palm tree and became engulfed in flames.

Witnesses said the car also hit a ship anchor being used as harbor décor, and the anchor did not move, being a solid iron piece weighing as much as a car.

Destroyed Lamborghini - From NBC San Diego

Destroyed Lamborghini – From NBC San Diego

A Harbor Police officer assisted the injured passenger, calling an ambulance which transported her to a hospital but she died of her injuries at age 26. She was a Mexican beauty queen. The driver of the car was a legal marijuana seller, selling medical marijuana but beset with legal difficulties at the time, and awaiting sentencing on a conviction.

He was 33-year-old Mike Llamas of San Diego.

I bring up this accident only because I felt a car as expensive as this one shouldn’t have a gas tank that explodes and it should have more structural integrity, even when hitting a tree. On the other hand, maybe there’s not many cars that you can hit a tree with at 100 mph (and then a ship anchor) that could still allow you to survive the crash.

I checked the net for notices of other fires and found that ran a story in Feb. 15, 2017 that said Lamborghini is recalling 5,900 supercars due to a possible fire risk.

The story went on to say; “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration submitted a safety recall report for the iconic carmaker’s Aventador and Veneno models on Feb. 3. The notice suggests Aventadors filled with too much gas could exhaust the system “in certain driving conditions.” And if liquid fuel reaches the exhaust system, it could cause a fire.

Car owners were notified of the recall Tuesday, Lamborghini told CNN—and is aware of seven cases of fires. The company added that it’s not aware of any injuries linked to the recall.

Pricing for some of the recalled Aventadors starts at around $400,000, while the rare Veneno cost upwards of $4 million.

I think the Aventador qualifies as a “super car” but to me a “supercar” should also be super safe, no matter how much of a fool the driver is. I met a man who survived a reconnaissance plane crash (aborted take off) at over 700 mph, and he walked away. I would expect no less of a supercar…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the co-host of Autotalk, a weekly radio show emanating from KUCR-FM Riverside,CA. He is the author of 18 car histories.




Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador – Not Crashed

Death In The Wee Hours - Questions About A Lamborghini Crash
Article Name
Death In The Wee Hours - Questions About A Lamborghini Crash
The driver was killed at the crash site but the woman passenger thrown free, only to die a few days later.


  1. looks more like a scud deployment to be honest.
    dark forces.

  2. Good questions. But, there is no aircraft short of a Saturn IV, which will be at over 200 mph during any form of aborted takeoff.

  3. One would think that an internal combustion automobile, at this point of the evolution, be made safe from devastating fires. Also as we know gasoline is very flammable. Sane people take natural precautions because of this.
    This article reminded me of something that really did concern me a while back. I was watching inane videos on the internet out of boredom. I came across one that startled me. It was about crushing batteries. People with a large hydraulic press were crushing various types of batteries. They all just crushed and that was the end of them. Until they got to lithium ion batteries (the kind that are in laptops and electric cars) I was amazed at how explosive these things are. I remember thinking (I don’t want to be in a car powered by these things when it crashes.) So I did a quick search on the internet and found videos of electric cars bursting into flames when crashed. When I did recent search for that same video it was gone from the internet. Youtube must have pulled it. The most dramatic one was of a race where a car left the road on a high speed turn. it flipped and as soon as it came down it burst into flames. More like exploded. I did manage to find the initial video of the batteries being crushed. I am posting it for your consideration.

  4. wallace wyss says

    Sorry about not being able to back up that statement about takeoff speed. but in my computer search I found that the plane has the capability of going 33 miles per minute or 3,000 feet per second. It flies faster than a 30-06 bullet. So I assumed it had to build up a good take off speed to get to its top end of 2100 mph (which took 20 minutes to attain) . More mind blowing is the fact that , in that same aborted takeoff accident, the back seater ejected at 0 altitude and survived. And I talked to another pilot of the same plane that ejected at 2000 mph and lived to tell about it. We built some great stuff 50 years ago!

    • “pilot of the same plane that ejected at 2000 mph and lived to tell about it”
      Please can you confirm which aircraft the pilot you spoke to was flying please? I’m quite sure that a sudden windspeed of 0-2000mph* would be instant death.
      *aircraft speed is measured in knots.

  5. Certainly if a car is prone to fire it should be tended to and not allowed to be sold for public use. Auto makers have a responsibility to be sure that their products are safe, even under less than ideal driving circumstances.

    We don’t know the reason for the accident – it is possible the car was on fire even before impact and the driver thought he could blow it out by driving fast enough to extinguish it. Yes, that’s a long shot, but until we see the investigation report, we only can speculate.

    Either way, 100mph on this roadway is way beyond excess. It’s into insanity. Impact with more or less anything at that velocity, coupled with the low shape and wafer like construction of a modern super car. the damage does not surprise me. Sad when anyone loses their life, sadder still to take innocent people with them.

    • wallace wyss says

      Didn’t James Bond have an ejection seat? I think it is not out of bounds to think
      of having them in a supercar. I would rather eject out if I was headed for a cliff than take the force of the crash. I remember seeing this video of a Russian pilot at an International air show. He flamed out and was headed toward the ground at close to a 70-deg angle but he ejected as the nose of his jet was almost penetrating the earth, and due to rockets on the ejection seat, shot upward and managed to glide down nicely from 200 ft. On a car that cost $400,000 I don’t think that would be too high priced an option

  6. Raymond Zinn says

    I think that it is time to outlaw all ground-based missiles such as this. People crash cars, cars don’t crash cars. Everyone should ride bikes and wear helmets and use training wheels. /SARC

  7. roger Rousset says

    Great job Wallace !!! You got everyone riled up!!!
    Your “JOB” is to get people thinking and you DID!!!!
    The group mind will rule!!

  8. Richard Bartholomew says

    James Bonds ejection seat was the passenger seat.

  9. An object traveling at 100 mph hitting a immovable object and your concerned about the manufacturers safety ? How about the driver driving the vehicle somewhere near the speed limit and not hitting ten tons of parked steel?

  10. Not to worry. Lamborghini has announced that all of its new models will be “self-healing”. Seriously. Reported in The Telegraph just today.

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