Join Date: Feb 2010
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,094
Accident at Katie's
My first trip to Katie’s was in 2009. A friend (Alan) told me it was a really cool, small gathering of interesting cars and car people. I took a few pictures; they show an original Mini Cooper, two Elises (Alan’s and mine), and a fire engine. The picture was taken after 8:00AM. Crowds were not a problem.
Fast-forward to today, and you have to get to Katie’s INSANELY early to get a ‘good’ spot. As the popularity skyrocketed, so did the quality and variety of vehicles. I have learned a lot by asking questions about what I didn’t recognize or understand. I have a network of friends and acquaintances that all started at Katie’s.
There are downsides to such a huge, popular event. Over the years, we have had accidents involving vehicles coming to or leaving from Katie’s – a couple of modern Ferraris on Georgetown Pike and 495, a Cobra replica, and the sad, fatal accident of the young man driving his S2000 down Walker Road. One of the most widely-reported Katie’s stories was the parking accident between the Mercedes and the Ferrari – I heard people on Metro talking about that, the week after.
This past Saturday, we had another landmark, and not in a good way: a guy with a ~$300,000 McLaren 720S, bought the day before, crashed the car on Walker Road, and had to be medivac’d out to the hospital. This story has made it to the Fairfax County Police Facebook page, and onto the TV news. The McLaren driver’s injuries, thankfully, are not life-threatening, but he after-effects of such a story will color peoples’ opinions of Katie’s Cars & Coffee.
This is NOT meant to be an accusatory screed; God knows, there will be plenty of vitriol from non-car-people. What I want to do, is remind us all that we in the car hobby are very visible, very identifiable targets for people who would like nothing better than to shut down car events they see as being breeding grounds for antisocial behavior. Even many of my car friends have an instant, visceral reaction that ‘that guy (or girl) is an idiot!’ Take that reaction and move it to the large number of non-car-people, and you can see that incidents like this can make for increasing hostility in the general public about “car events” in general.
We car people need to move beyond the too-easy excuse that it’s only “idiots” that cause these problems. The roads in this area are filled with people driving distracted and making completely illogical moves in the middle of traffic. Suburban roads, like the ones surrounding Katie’s, are packed with wild deer, which can dart in front of you like a furry kamikaze. These variables could mean that anyone could be involved in a very serious accident, whether or not it is “your fault”.
Like me, I’m sure you have done some unsafe moves in your car. We all need to keep in mind that the way we drive our vehicles has consequences. Use whatever helps you to keep that in mind…
Do I want to be injured, or to die?
Do I want to damage my car?
Do I want to hurt or kill someone else?
Do I want to have to endure all my friends referring to me as ‘crash’?
Those of us who used to enjoy a Sunday cars & coffee at Fair Lakes, VA (Kohl’s) know that it’s possible to lose a venue because of bad actors. Let’s do what is necessary to make sure we, as a group, clean up our behavior, and keep this weekly event safe, and thriving!
Last edited by rcollum; 07-15-2018 at 08:27 AM.