Posted by Anthony CarboneMay 3, 2007 at 11:33 am
The 911 Porsche that crashed into the Volkswagen killing the driver and putting the passenger in critical condition was apparently the car of Nick Morley and Matthew McConville. As you can see by the banner I have included in this post, The Official Gumball 3000 website has shut down the forum and stopped answering all questions.
Thanks to some Instant Messaging the folks over at Jalopnik have given us Gumball 3000 followers an update on the unfortunate fatal crash over in Macedonia:
“everyone involved has been told to shut up so I’m going around them, calling authorities…they tried covering the shit up, they’ve had 24 hours to issue a press release…and nothing of the sort…they kept it from all other gumballers too”
Fleeing the scene and covering it up is going to prove to be a HUGE NEGATIVE blow for Maximillion and his beloved Gumball 3000 brand, not to mention Nick and Matthew of the Porsche. This is all going to create one hell of a firestorm over in Europe and most likely end the Gumball 3000 race on that continent for good.
At this time, the race organizers have yet to answer anyones phone call inquiries into this matter.
3pm UPDATE: More Background Info
Macedonian TV Station A1 said the drivers (Nick Morley and Matthew McConville) later climbed into another car, a BMW, and tried to leave the country. However organizers of the rally said the drivers returned to the scene 20 minutes later. The drivers of the Porsche 911 Turbo Techart allegedly got out of their crashed car and ran off, local police said.
The Techart Porsche 911 Turbo of Nick Morley and Matthew McConville hit an oncoming car, at a reported speed of more than 200km/h, after which, according to media reports, they tried to escape the country via the nearby border post.
4pm UPDATE: Co Pilot No Longer Following/Reporting Gumball 3000
After sleuthing around the net trying to find more information on the crash as well as the current situation, I came accross a site I had bookmarked and is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
There is NO MENTION anywhere on the site about their involvement with THE GUMBALL 3000.
CoPilot Live GPS (by Alk Technologies) is the Official Navigation Sponsor of the Gumball 3000. Their link no longer displays any sort of coverage of the Gumball 3000. Here is a picture of Maximillion Cooper in front of the media board and XZIBIT being shown how to use the software.
4:30pm UPDATE: Gumball 3000 Press Statement
Team Polizei’s Alex Roy and Michael Ross withdraw from the rally and I fully agree that its the only appropriate thing to do after this unfortunate tragedy. Their recent post on Team Polizei’s Website states “In view of events of the past day, Alex Roy and Michael Ross of Team Polizei have withdrawn from the 2007 Gumball Rally. They are driving to Bratislava to thank the fans that have traveled from so far. They will make a further statement at 10.00GMT.”
Here is the Gumball 3000 Press Release more then 24 hours after the incident.
Gumball 3000 is very saddened to announce a road accident which occurred yesterday, May 2nd, involving a participating vehicle and a local vehicle in Macedonia. Exact details are still filtering through, but below are the facts as of midday May 3rd 2007 issued by the Macedonian authorities.
An adult Macedonian male aged 67 died in hospital from a heart attack following the incident where the two cars collided. The participants in the rally were held in custody last night with a preliminary court judgment expected today.
Organizers of the rally would like to express its deepest condolences to the family of the victim for this tragic accident.
Maximillion Cooper, founder of the Rally says: “It is with extreme sadness I have to make an announcement of this nature in the events nine year history.. The event is organized with each local authorities support and permission, and drivers are under strict stipulation by abide by the laws and road regulations of the country they are driving through. It is extremely sad for this unfortunate accident to have occurred. I am informed that the incident was reported immediately by the drivers. Both drivers are extremely traumatized by this occurrence.”
5:30pm UPDATE: Nicholas Morley and Matthew McConville Info
According to reports, Nicholas Morley, 30, and Matthew McConvile, 32, both British citizens, have been arrested in FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia) for a hit & run incident when their Techart Porsche 911 Turbo crashed into an elderly couple’s VW Golf, killing Vladimir Cepuljoski, 67 and seriously injuring his wife, Margarita Cepuljoski who remains hospitalized in critical condition. Apparently, the two Brits tried to escape by getting into another car but they were caught by FYROM police.
6:30pm Final UPDATE: Gumball 3000 CANCELLED
May 3, 2007: Aftermath
According to two sources familiar with the cross-Europe road rally, the car that picked up Nick Morley and Matthew McConville after the deadly hit-and-run incident was allegedly described as a Gumball BMW with Russian plates. Sources have speculated that it could be the #19 Russian BMW.
“An investigative judge of Struga Court ordered 30 days of temporary detention to the British citizen Nicholas Morley, Makfax’s correspondent reported. Morley has been detained for the purposes of the investigation into yesterday’s traffic accident that took place at Struga-Qafasan road, which left one Macedonian citizen dead. The victim’s wife, who has suffered heavy injuries in the accident, is in critical condition. The tragic traffic accident occurred on the Struga-Qafasan road near KMR Petrol station. The speeding Porsche, driven by the Briton, crossed over the center lane and crashed into Golf with Ohrid registration plates.”
It was also reported that the driver and passenger of the BMW with Russian license plates were released by Macedonian authorities after initially being taken into custody. As for the official charges against Morley they are for:
“heavy violation of traffic safety” and “failure to provide help to an injured person.”
May 4, 2007: 2nd Fatality
Margarita Chepunjoska, the wife of Vladimir, who died May 2nd, 2007, has passed away today in the Skopje Clinic Center.
May 4, 2007: Maximillion Cooper’s Interview with the BBC
Maximillian Cooper’s interview with the BBC: “60 kph…which is well within the speed limit…it would appear to be a genuine sort of accident where this elderly couple just pulled out in front of them.”
May 9, 2007: Aftermath Pictures of the Techart Porsche 911 Turbo, Volkswagen Golf
[Source: Gumball3000.com, Jalopnik.com, Wikipedia.com, Times.co.uk, GTspirit.com, Gumball3000blog.com, Gumball144.com/CMS, BBC.co.uk, Metro.co.uk]