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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Publisher’s Notebook

• Some Stories Never Die •


The saga of the Feb. 21, 2006 crash of the red Ferrari Enzo—one of only 400 built—on Pacific Coast Highway in western Malibu will likely live on forever. Though Malibu has had its share of spectacular PCH crashes with more deadly results, this one is the stuff of mythology.
All it takes to resurrect the colorful story in the media is anything remotely to do with its Runyunesque cast of characters, no matter how insignificant. This includes the Ferrari driver and his passenger who both managed to survive the 150 mph crash despite the virtual disintegration of the vehicle. As if that wasn’t enough spectacle, the duo were able to bluff their way into departing from the crash scene without being taken into custody or cited.
The driver of the ill-fated racing icon—Bo Stefan Eriksson—ultimately served three years in a California prison for embezzlement involving the $1 million-plus Enzo and other vehicles, DUI and other charges. No sooner was he deported from the United States than he got into trouble in his native Sweden and was back in the slammer on similar charges. No one appears willing to make book that Eriksson will not repeat this sequence of events in the future.
The now determined to be fictional German named “Dietrich,” who Eriksson attempted to place at the wheel of the Ferrari, may have been a figment, but there was a real-life passenger in the totaled racing car who was later identified as Irish-born Trevor Karney. Karney appears to have the same propensity for getting into trouble as Eriksson.
Arrested after a year-and-a-half manhunt, Karney pleaded nolo contendere, or no contest, to a charge of giving false information about the crash, did a brief jail stint, and then left the country. He remained under the radar until last week when he was arrested in Beverly Hills and charged by the DA’s office with felony evasion of law enforcement, misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license, DUI, and possible U.S. reentry violations.
Karney was subsequently arraigned in Beverly Hills Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty. His preliminary hearing is set for next week.
Eriksson and Karney have assumed a peculiar cult figure status, especially among some of the racing car crowd, but Karney’s new woes may remind him that law enforcement is not too fond of those who make it look even remotely gullible. 
However, the myth will continue to feed off itself and its devotees will eagerly await the next interesting escapade.

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