[cifnmedia] Newton Accident

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 07:05:19 -0800 (PST)

Joy ride turns nearly fatal

By KIM WIEDMAN, Daily News
NEWTON - She had only been allowed out a few times for special occasions, and 
when she did go out, people couldn't help but stop and stare.

With her V-10 motor and six-speed manual transmission, there wasn't many like 
her on the road, and her owners, Kevin and Max Short of McClane Motors in 
Newton, knew how special she was. She was hand-assembled and part of a limited 

After she was purchased in the later part of '94, when it was worth $60,500, 
the owners toyed with the idea of selling her, but with looks like hers, they 
couldn't help but become too attached.

On a few occasions, the McClane's had taken her out to show her off in parades 
and she did go on a few short trips here and there, but she was mainly used as 
an attention-grabber to attract people to the dealership.

On Friday night, she was driven proudly through the Newton High School 
Homecoming Parade, where she carried a queen candidate, Kevin Short's 
stepdaughter Emily Matson, for all parade-goers to admire.

Following the parade, she wasn't taken back to her normal storage area, but 
instead with her odometer set at 169, she was parked in the shop area of the 
dealership where her owners had intended for her to stay until the next day 
when they planned to take her out and show her off a little.

Her next trip, however, would come just a few hours later, when a driver she 
was unfamiliar with took her out for a spin.

As she left McClane Motors in Newton with the unfamiliar driver, no one could 
have anticipated what would happen next.

Just four short blocks from the dealership along Illinois 33, the '95 red Dodge 
Viper became airborne as the driver lost control causing the vehicle to strike 
a parked tractor at Newton Tractor Sales. The motor of the tractor was pushed 
back an estimated 6 inches, and the Viper was ripped to shreds.

Witnesses say they saw the Viper pass by around 4:05 a.m. Saturday at an 
excessive speed and then they heard the crash - which residents say was heard 
blocks away.

Kevin Short, general manager of McClane Motors, who has been around the car 
business as long as he can remember, said when he heard the news about what had 
happened to the car, he was in disbelief.

"I was pretty shocked about the whole incident," said Short. "We initially had 
gotten it as a possible vehicle to sell, but it is not a car that everyone in 
this area is going to buy. We had gotten attached to it."

Although it is unknown what the exact rate of speed the car was traveling when 
it crashed, Short said the car is capable of reaching a high rate of speed in a 
very short period of time.

According to a Web site that features specifications on that year of Dodge 
Viper, the Viper is capable of reaching up to 113.8 mph in a quarter of a mile, 
which is about the distance the Viper traveled before it was wrecked.

The car that was once admired as it traveled down the roadway now sits in an 
undisclosed location, and the driver of the car, Joshua S. Clasby, 25, of 
Greenup remains in critical condition at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Illinois State Police is continuing to investigate the crash, and Clasby could 
face criminal and traffic charges.

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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