Teen ‘diamond boy’ crashes $240,000 Ferrari in downtown Moscow and flees (VIDEO)
The incident happened late Thursday, when the Ferrari driver mistakenly took Moscow's Garden Ring for a racetrack. Having taken the car, worth hundreds of thousands dollars, up to speeds of 200 km/h (125 mph), the driver started making dangerous maneuvers on the road, traffic cameras showed, according to TV channel Rossiya. The driver eventually lost control of the car, and crashed into two other vehicles on a bridge.
The Ferrari immediately burst into flames. But when the emergency services managed to put the fire out, they found no one lying in the pile of scrap.
According to eyewitnesses, they saw a young man escape from the scene, while passers-by bravely rushed to help the drivers of other damaged vehicles, among them a French national. The Ferrari driver was reportedly escorted from the scene in a bodyguard’s car.
News agencies later reported that the driver was located in one of Moscow's hospitals. He was initially thought to be 17 years old, and claims were made that he had been driving the car without a license – something which can be obtained in Russia from age 18 onwards.
The burnt Ferrari was registered as belonging to a car dealership, the Russian Interior Ministry said. The company representative told Channel 1 that the Ferrari had been sold a week ago "to a very respected businessman," and that the paperwork to reregister it with the new owner was still being processed.
Later reports suggested that the driver and his family had intentionally presented the teenager as underage, claiming that all the documents had burnt up with the car. It later turned out that he was 18, Life News reported, adding that the teenager received the Ferrari as a birthday present to celebrate his adulthood only days before the crash.
However, the young man had been illegally driving another luxury car since he was 15, Life News reported, citing an anonymous source close to the teenager.
TV channel Rossiya named the Ferrari driver as having been Thomas Leviev, reporting that he is the son of a world-famous Uzbek-born Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, known as the "King of Diamonds." A representative of one of Leviev’s Russian companies denied the reports, saying "none of Mr. Leviev’s family members have [had] anything to do with the incident, and furthermore he has no son under the name of Thomas."
Relatives of the alleged initiator of the crash kept guard at the hospital, trying hard not to let the identity of the young man be made public. Their "protectiveness" led to another case, when a man, initially mistaken for a bodyguard and who then reported to be the driver's relative, was arrested after he first allegedly assaulted a journalist filming at the hospital, and then intentionally nearly overran a police officer in his business-class Mercedes.
"I don't know who has ordered them to keep such watchful guard over the solace of this ‘diamond boy’, and we will find it out, but looks like the boy himself and his minions ... have no idea that they live in a law-governed state," Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin said.