Low-flying pelican prompts man to drive $2M Bugatti Veyron into La Marque lagoon


by Chris Paschenko / The Daily News


Posted on November 12, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 12 at 3:03 PM

LA MARQUE, Texas — The owner of one of the world’s fastest production automobiles accidentally drove his fine-tuned, French-built car into a saltwater lagoon Wednesday.

The man, who police said was from Lufkin, was uninjured after escaping the partially submerged Bugatti Veyron as it came to rest in about 2 feet of saltwater.

The two-seater, with 16 cylinders and four turbo chargers, can reach speeds of more than 250 mph. New models sell for about $2 million.

The man, who refused to give his name, was looking at real estate in Galveston.

About 3 p.m. a low-flying pelican distracted him as he traveled north on Interstate 45 just south of the hurricane levee near Omega Bay.

The man jerked the wheel, dropped his cell phone, and the car’s front tire left the frontage road and entered a muddy patch, which foiled his attempt to maneuver away from the lagoon.

The Veyron’s powerful engine gurgled like an outboard motor for about 15 minutes before it died.

Police and firefighters blocked the frontage road until MCH Towing employee Gilbert Harrison carefully wenched the car away from riprap and onto the soft, muddy bank.

It’s the rarest car in the world, not something you can just replace, the man said.

An Associated Press story in October mentioned a 2006 model Veyron for sale in Jonesboro, Ark., with an asking price of $1.25 million.

One of the prospective buyers was from Texas.

That Bugatti Veyron was one of only 200 made and one of only about 15 in the United States, the AP reported.

This story was brought to you thanks to khou.com's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.