Checking WeChat Messages, Woman Drives RM1.27M Maserati into Pond

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Driver says she was trying to avoid crashing into a truck, but insurance company says it won’t be paying out.

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A woman drove a US$300,000 (RM1.27mil) Maserati GranTurismo into a pond in China on Nov 3 after taking her eyes off the road to check her phone, local media reported.

The unnamed driver of the bright red sports car was visiting Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, when she apparently misread the road and drove straight into the water, police officer Xu Jie said in a report by Jiangsu Television on Nov 4.

“There was a turn in the road, but the car overshot.

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“When I arrived at the scene, the woman had just got out of the water. She was shaking because of the freezing cold, and a pool of water had formed at her feet,” Xu said.

In a separate report by Modern Express Daily on Saturday, the driver was quoted as saying that she was on a sightseeing trip and was unfamiliar with the roads in the area.

Moments before the accident, she glanced down to check her WeChat messages and when she looked up again she claimed she saw a truck right in front of her.

She said she panicked and swerved to avoid a collision, only to find herself in the pond.

“The car was almost submerged, with just about 30 centimetres left above the surface.

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“The engine was still running, and the windscreen wipers were swinging back and forth,” Xu said.

The driver said she escaped from the vehicle by climbing out of the side window with the help of bystanders.

It was not known if she was the owner of the high-powered, luxury coupe, but the television report said the company that insured the two-year-old vehicle had written it off due to the damage caused and would not be paying out on the policy.

In mainland China, the price of a Maserati GranTurismo is about 2.2 million yuan.

A crane was used to pull the car from the water.

To add insult to injury, the driver was fined 50 yuan for the offence of using a mobile phone while driving.