Moment supercar convoy ‘jumped red lights’ before fatal crash
By Nick Pisa and David Averre and James Reynolds
14:59 06 Oct 2023, updated 00:05 07 Oct 2023
- Swiss couple Markus and Melissa Krautli burned to death in aftermath of smash
- Now local media says some members of the convoy were ignoring traffic rules
A supercar convoy broke traffic regulations by ‘jumping red lights’ and ‘failing to give way’ during the luxury rally that led to a horror crash and killed two in Italy on Monday, according to local media.
Graphic footage captured the horrific moment billionaire Vikas Oberoi’s blue Lamborghini appeared to turn into the path of a red Ferrari that was about to overtake him.
The impact sent both cars flying into a camper van that flipped over, while the Ferrari Portofino belonging to two Swiss tourists crashed off the road and burst into flames.
Swiss tourists Markus Krautli, 67, and his wife Melissa, 63, were killed in the fire while Mr Oberoi and his glamorous Bollywood wife Gayatri Joshi were unhurt and later pictured by their wrecked Lamborghini Huracan.
There was no indication those involved in the fatal incident breached traffic regulations as the convoy made its way from Pula in the south of Sardinia to Olbia in the north.
Property magnate Mr Oberoi, 54, was placed under investigation for causing the double deaths but has reportedly since returned home to India.
As he was not formally charged, no travel restrictions have been placed on him.
A spokesperson for Mr Oberoi’s firm Oberoi Realty told MailOnline that Mr Oberoi and his wife had returned but refused to make any further comment.
A statement released following the crash had said the couple were unhurt and added: ‘The relevant authorities are investigating the incident and until the facts are established, we won’t be able to comment on the subject matter.’
The occupants of the campervan, two tourists from northern Italy, were unhurt and all three vehicles involved were later seized and taken away for examination by the police.
Speaking before news of his return to India was announced, a police source in Sardinia told MailOnline: ‘An Indian citizen has been placed on the official register and [is] being investigated for causing the deaths of two people in a traffic accident.
‘He has not been officially charged and as such is free to go and even leave the country. No restrictions have been placed on him and the prosecutor has requested nothing to prevent him from travelling.
‘Experts will be appointed by the prosecutor to examine the cars, the road and weather conditions and those under investigation can also appoint their experts.
‘If the prosecutor decides to formally charge then the relevant authorities in India will be notified and a decision will be taken on any potential extradition.’
If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison and the dashcam footage appeared to show his car crossing a solid continuous white line which forbids overtaking.
Following the incident Gayatri told Indian media: ‘Vikas and I are in Italy. We met with an accident here. With God’s grace, we are both absolutely fine.’
The investigation is being led by Cagliari based prosecutor Giangiacomo Pilia who said he was looking at a possible charge of ‘double road homicide’.
Footage has been seized from several bystanders and it has since emerged that the main clip was taken by a German police officer who was off duty and on holiday and said to be ‘appalled’ by driving she had seen.
Mr Oberoi is the chairman and managing director of Mumbai listed Oberoi Realty, a company known for building luxury properties and is said by Forbes to be worth $3.6 billion.
He also owns a Westin hotel in Mumbai and is building the country’s first Ritz Carlton hotel.
Oberoi, who was allegedly driving the Lamborghini, and Ms Joshi escaped unharmed but were visibly shaken after the crash.
Ms Joshi, who was pictured sitting on the tarmac following the crash, was reportedly seen sobbing as she stared at the wreckage of their car.
Oberoi meanwhile was seen with his hands on his hips, looking on in disbelief, according to Indian outlet NDTV.
Ms Joshi, who starred in Bollywood blockbuster Swades, told India’s Free Press Journal: ‘Vikas and I are in Italy. We met with an accident here… With God’s grace, we both are absolutely fine.’
Oberoi is believed to be one of India’s richest men.
He owns a large luxury hotel resort chain which operates dozens of locations in India and beyond, as well as seven luxury cruise liners.
The tycoon is also the head of Oberoi Realty, a real estate developer which builds and sells luxury properties in Mumbai.
Mr and Mrs Krautli, from Wallisellen near Zurich, were confirmed to have been killed in the blazing car.
Mr Krautli worked at the family logistics firm which bore his name and had offices in Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal.
A couple from Selva di Val Gardena, aged 61 and 62, who were travelling in the motorhome were taken to hospital.
‘We were lying sideways in our seats. For a moment we were silent in disbelief. Then I looked into my wife’s eyes and asked her if she was okay. She nodded,’ Lorenzo M, who was sitting in the RV, told Italian news outlet L’Unione Sarda.
The couple crawled out from between the seats and were able to escape the vehicle.
‘When we came out we thought we were in hell,’ he added.
The Ferrari was on fire and screams could be heard from across the road, Bild reports.
Images show the wrecked vehicle at the side of the road.
In the video, the blue Lamborghini Huracan is shown heavily damaged at the side of the road surrounded by a cloud of dust and smoke, with the campervan blocking both lanes.
Another video of the aftermath shows some of the sports cars that were not involved in the collision parked at the roadside.
There are people gathered beside the ruined Lamborghini and the overturned campervan as black smoke emanates from the flaming Ferrari, with an ambulance crew also present at the scene.
The remains of the three vehicles have been seized by the authorities as the investigation continues.
The supercars were driving on the 195 Sulcitana state road in the commune of San Giovanni Suergiu in South Sardinia.
The couple had departed from Forte Village and were heading for Mores, Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reports.
According to Italian media, all occupants of the luxury cars took part in the Sardinia Supercar Experience event, which started in Teulada and was set to finish in Olbia.
Over the course of a few days, the participants drive across the island in Ferraris and Lamborghinis, visit viewpoints and stay overnight in expensive hotels.
If tourists travel in their own car, the trip costs £10,409. A multi-day trip in a rental Ferrari SF90 from the organiser can be booked for £21,515.
It has since emerged in local media the convoy of cars involved in the rally had allegedly been ‘breaching’ traffic regulations earlier by failing to give way and not stopping at red traffic lights.
There is no suggestion Mr Oberoi and the Swiss couple were involved in this and footage posted online and on social media appears to show other cars involved.
Video posted on the local paper website of L’Unione Sarda showed a white Lamborghini roar away from a red traffic narrowly missing a stopes truck and seconds later a green car carries out the same illegal manoeuvre.