Two friends died in the crash of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat over the weekend after they shot off the end of an airport runway, authorities said.
That someone died in a 707-horsepower Hellcat is, sadly, not unexpected. But two aspects of the story are remarkable.
First, the men’s ages: The Denver Post reports the crash victims were Lynd Fitzgerald, 71, of Colorado Springs, and his passenger, Roger Lichtenberger, 76, of San Marcos, Calif.
Second, their speed: The car was likely moving at over 100 miles per hour, authorities said. The men had permission to use the 8,300-foot runway at Central Colorado Regional Airport in Buena Vista. That’s more than a mile and a half long. But when the car left the runway, it went 300 feet before flying over a ravine, hitting the ground, becoming airborne again, flipping end over end across a second ravine, and ultimately landing on its wheels 650 feet past the end of the pavement.
Responding police officers tried to provide first aid, but the men were declared dead at the scene.
“They were just test-driving this car. They went a little too fast. I don’t want to surmise. … They probably got to the end of the runway and, at that speed, didn’t realize they were there so fast. And they lost control. It was just too high a speed and they got to the end of the runway,” said Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.
There were skid marks near the end of the runway, but the sheriff didn’t know the length.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Spezze told the newspaper. “They had permission to be there. There were no laws broken.”