BMW makes some of the fastest cars available to consumers, with athletic and aggressive styling to match. Unfortunately, high-performance vehicles cause car accidents far too often. Some drivers feel the need to push sports cars to their limit, and that’s what happened in a tragic news story. Here’s how a teen driver killed six people.
How fast was the teen driving his BMW?
Around 11 p.m. on January 27, Florida teen Noah Thomas Galle crashed his BMW into a 2018 Nissan Rogue headed toward Delray Beach. Galle didn’t sustain any life-threatening injuries. But all six people inside the small SUV died. Co-workers Mirlaine Julceus, 45, Remize Michel, 53, Marie Louis, 60, Michel Saint, 77, Filaine Dieu, 46, and Vanice Percina, 29, had just left the farm where they worked.
As emergency personnel transported the then-17-year-old Galle to the hospital, he told police he had been driving over 120 mph. In actuality, he had been traveling 151 mph when his BMW hit the Nissan SUV. And previously, the teen had recorded himself on Instagram going 182 mph in the same Bimmer.
According to The Washington Post, Galle had a reputation for posting these kinds of videos. He even goaded his social media followers to guess how fast he was driving by offering $25 rewards.
Galle is charged with six counts of vehicular homicide, with a $300,000 bond and a driving ban. The Washington Post reports that the teen pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.
Which BMW model was involved in the accident?
Galle’s car was a white 2019 BMW M5. The factory M5 has a top speed of 155 mph. So the teen’s Bimmer either had modifications or was the Competition model, capable of reaching 189 mph, the New York Post reports.
The 2019 BMW M5 Competition packs a turbocharged V8 producing 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with a stiffer suspension than the regular M5, ball joints on the rear axle, a bigger anti-roll bar, and heavier engine mounts.
All of that extra equipment probably helped keep the M5 Competition secured to the road and prevented Galle from sustaining serious injuries. As for the Nissan Rogue, the force of the impact sent the SUV flying several feet, The Washington Post reports. Neither news outlet mentioned the condition of the BMW after the crash.
This is why insuring a teen driver is never cheap
The tragic accident in Florida probably never would have happened if Galle had been driving the speed limit. Because he’s only a teen, he probably doesn’t have much experience behind the wheel. Without that experience, most teenagers don’t realize how easy it is to lose control of a car.
Teens are also known to take more risks behind the wheel. They’re the biggest culprits of texting and, in Galle’s case, posting to social media behind the wheel. Many drivers as young as Galle also don’t wear their seatbelts and ignore speed limits.
Because of those factors, teen drivers are up to three times likelier to get into car accidents than older drivers. Insurance companies take this liability into account when determining premiums.
It costs an average of $1,883 to add a teen driver to an insurance policy, even if the teen has never been in an accident. That makes teens more expensive to insure than a driver with a DUI, which can increase premiums by $1,662.
Parents should encourage their teens to drive safely before they get their licenses by setting a good example. Always stick to the speed limit, and wear your seatbelt in the presence of your kids (which you should be doing anyway).
Still, it’s hard to control what your teen does behind the wheel once they’ve acquired their license. However, you can keep their inner speed demons reined in by keeping sports cars out of reach. Requiring them to drive a vehicle with many car safety features, such as General Motors’ Teen Driver and Ford’s MyKey, can also help prevent tragic accidents.