By KELLY BRODY
A Grammy-award winning photographer, Ian Cuttler Sala, was killed on Sunday as the passenger of a car crash with Salma Hayek’s brother, Sami Hayek. Hayek, who was driving the 2006 Ford GT, survived the crash with facial lacerations and broken ribs. Sala and Hayek collided with a pickup truck driven by 20-year-old Alvin Javier Gomez, who suffered only minor injuries including a broken foot.
Police believe that the crash was caused by Hayek’s inability to handle the vehicle, which can reach an upwards of 205 mph. This crash marks the second deadly car accident in which the passenger, rather than the driver of the vehicle, has died. The first notable accident was the death of “Fast and Furious” movie series star Paul Walker back in November. Both in this case and Walker’s, no alcohol or drugs were involved in the accidents.
It’s become ingrained in American culture to worship fast cars. The luxury sports car market is one of male adoration, and they’re often used as a status symbol. Movies such as the Fast and Furious series, which garnered a cult fan base and amassed millions of dollars in the box office are a testament to America’s obsession with sports vehicles. Many popular video games also feature the “thrill” of driving fast cars. More points are rewarded if you drive fast, and often, destructively.
Unfortunately, the movies and video games don’t show the destruction that can amount from driving too fast. Justin Bieber tested his luck when he tried drag racing in a sports car in Miami Beach not too long ago and it amounted in an arrest. His fate was much better than that of Walker and Sala, who paid for the thrill of driving a fast sports car with the ultimate price — their lives.
While luxury sports cars provide nice eye candy, it should be noted that their fast nature should not be taken advantage of, and should be left to experts. Like many things in Hollywood, everything is not as it seems, and while it seems exhilarating to drive sports vehicles extremely fast, it is a dangerous activity that can have severe consequences.
Hopefully, news coverage of the deaths of Sala and Walker will bring attention to this growing issue. In the age of texting-while-driving, and driving while intoxicated, another danger on the road is the last thing we need.