Sgt. Quipster

Malibu Sheriff's sergeant Philip Brooks dished out an amusing dose of skepticism about the story given by Swedish millionaire Stefan Eriksson to explain yesterday's crash of his Ferrari Enzo on Pacific Coast Highway. Eriksson claimed that a mystery German named Dietrich was driving the 660-horsepower, twelve-cylinder machine when it smacked into a pole at 120 miles an hour. "Dietrich" then ran into a canyon, Eriksson said, forcing the sheriff to send out helicopters and search teams. Bob Pool reports in the Times:

Brooks said detectives are far from convinced they have the whole story.

Eriksson "had a .09 blood-alcohol level, but if he's a passenger, that's OK," Brooks said. "But he had a bloody lip, and only the air bag on the driver's side had blood on it. The passenger-side air bag did not. My Scooby-Doo detectives are looking closely into that.

"Maybe the 'driver' had a friend who picked him up. Maybe he thumbed a ride," the sergeant added. "Maybe he was a ghost."

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The Sheriff's Department impounded the shredded remains of the Ferrari as evidence. But Brooks said he retrieved one souvenir from the side of the road.

"I have the mirror from the car," he joked. "It's shattered, but I think it's worth $5,000. I'm going to hang onto it."

Meanwhile, Ferrari aficionados mourned the loss of a rare automobile that sells used for more than a million dollars. "I think the price went up another $100,000 with today's crash," said one fan.


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