Just 12 hours before he died in a reckless, high-speed crash, an 18-year-old Florida man logged onto an online forum for BMW drivers and asked for tips on driving his faster.
Later that same night, Joshua Ammirato raced his 2008 BMW M5 off an airstrip and into a tree. He and four other young men from Marion County in Florida were killed in the high-speed crash that clearly was the result of joyriding and youthful bravada.
In between typical car banter, some of the posters on the M5.com questioned Ammirato’s maturity and urged him to be cautious while driving his high-performance car.
“[I]t’s just disturbing to know, if you’re for real, that an 18 year old who is asking these questions about a 500hp car is driving the same streets I am. I don’t have anything against young guys driving nice cars, but an 18 year old behind the wheel of an M5 is what accidents are made of,” he wrote.
Ammirato assured his fellow M5 bufs that he was a safe driver — an assertion that contrasts sharply with accident reports.
“I completely understand where you are coming from assuming that I am irresponsible … that is definitely understandable. I do sometimes make bad decisions but I am young and I do drive safe and I will not endanger the lives of others.”
A case like this truly is tragic. All teenagers do stupid things, but for these five will never have the chance to do another stupid thing. And where does fault for this accident lie? Solely with the driver? Or with his friends, who surely encouraged him to push the limits of his fast sportscare? With his father, for giving an 18-year-old such a powerful car? With BMW for manufacturing a performance vehicle? With online car buffs who are always boasting about the performance they get from their sports cars? I’d love to hear your opinion.