Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Schadenfreude

scha·den·freu·de (shäd′n-froi´də) noun

Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

[German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida, from frō, happy).] -- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition

Photos and text from the L.A. Times:

Before
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After
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A red Ferrari Enzo — one of only 400 ever made and worth more than $1 million — broke apart Tuesday when it crested a hill on Pacific Coast Highway going 120 mph and slammed into a power pole.

[The] demolished car had been owned by a Swedish millionaire….

Sheriff's investigators identified him as 44-year-old Stefan Eriksson, a Bel-Air resident. Officials are trying to determine whether he is the noted Swedish game designer whose firm, perhaps not surprisingly, was involved with car-racing themed video games.

Authorities said Eriksson said he was a passenger in the Ferrari, which he said was being driven by a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich.

One witness told deputies that the Ferrari appeared to be racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLR northbound along the coastal highway when the accident occurred about 6 a.m. west of Decker Road.

"It took out the pole, and part of the car went another 600 feet," Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks said. "There were 1,200 feet of debris out there."

Eriksson told authorities that "Dietrich" ran up a hill toward the canyon road and disappeared. Brooks said detectives are far from convinced they have the whole story.

Eriksson "had a .09 blood-alcohol level, but if he's a passenger, that's OK," Brooks said. "But he had a bloody lip, and only the air bag on the driver's side had blood on it. The passenger-side air bag did not. My Scooby-Doo detectives are looking closely into that.

"Maybe the 'driver' had a friend who picked him up. Maybe he thumbed a ride," the sergeant added. "Maybe he was a ghost."

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