43 year-old Warren Smale was killed when his potential customer crashed his Corvette during a test drive.
43 year-old Warren Smale went to work thinking it would be just another day. As a CarMax employee, part of his daily routine included giving test drives. Unfortunately, he was killed when a test drive got out of control.
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28 year-old Alex Mark Demetro from Union City came in on Tuesday and asked for a test drive for one of the Corvettes. It’s not clear if he was acting suspicious at the time, as he was given the opportunity for the drive and headed out onto the streets at around 12:30pm. Smale was along for the ride.
Unlike cars that are used for driver’s education and driving tests, there is no way for the passenger to control anything from where they were sitting. There are a number of things that could have led to the accident. Demetro may have tried to steal the vehicle, or he may have just lost control. Either way, he was going much faster than he should have been, with witnesses estimating that the crash happened at over 70 mph.
Smale was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead. His family, friends, and co-workers were shocked at the news.
Corvettes are incredibly powerful cars, with horsepower between 455 and 650. This is similar to cars like the Mustang , which has 435 horsepower, the Camaro at 455, and the Viper at 645. Some dealerships don’t let customers test drive these cars, in attempts to keep people from showing up just for a quick joyride. However, this CarMax dealer either didn’t have that policy, or felt like Demetro was a serious buyer.
Demetro was later found to be under the influence, which further brings up the question of why he was allowed to drive. Perhaps he wasn’t acting suspicious, or only started being erratic during the drive.
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Time will tell if CarMax decides to change its policy because of this, or if the victim’s family will file a lawsuit. Until then, it’s another reminder that life can end all too quickly.