Maserati Driver Killed In Crash Remembered As ‘Wonderful Young Man’

By Kelly Werthmann

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators have identified the driver of a Maserati killed in a crash in Douglas County.

Brandon Gionapoulos, 24, died when the blue Maserati he was driving landed in a ditch near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard. The mangled car was spotted by a passerby around 10 a.m. Saturday, but it’s not yet clear when the crash occurred.

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Gionapoulos was a sales employee for the Mike Ward Maserati and Infiniti dealership and part of his job gave him access to the high-performance vehicles, authorities told CBS4. The dealership is located just about a mile from where the crash happened.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Brandon was a wonderful young man who will be deeply missed by his family and by his coworkers at Mike Ward Automotive,” Mike Ward said in a statement to CBS4. “It is impossible for us to understand why these things happen and we are all extremely saddened by this tragedy.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said “reckless speeds” were a contributing factor in the crash.

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Hours before, around 7:25 p.m. Friday, Gionapoulos posted a Facebook Live video showing the dashboard of a Maserati. The short video shows the vehicle going from zero to 111 miles per hour in just about 20 seconds, and then ends.

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

Brandon Gionapoulos (credit: Facebook)

It has not been confirmed if the video is connected to the crash that claimed Gionapoulos’ life, but friends hope it serves as a warning to other drivers.

“Had a coworker lose control of this vehicle at the end of this video last night and has passed away. Please be careful when you drive!” a friend wrote on Facebook.

Authorities confirmed no other cars or people were involved in the crash and Gionapoulos was the only occupant of the car when it went off the road. An investigation is ongoing.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. speed kills.

      1. sorry man, you’re correct.

      2. Mark Smith says:

        Taking stupid selfies kill.

      3. It’s not the pace of life that concerns me. It’s the sudden stop at the end… (see post below)

      4. Actually, sufficiently rapid acceleration can also kill; whereas in contrast, those “sudden stops” you reference fall into the category of sudden *deceleration*.

        So arguably, lethality stems from sudden shifts in momentum.

    1. Carl Quick says:

      ATTENTION Car Dealerships,
      Surely, you’ve learned a valuable lesson here today.
      Don’t hire kids to sell sports cars.
      You may as well have given a child a bazooka.
      Children will play, that’s what they do best. Adults are often more responsible.

      1. Jay Barbieri says:

        Too true.
        A young man without lots of track experience has no business driving those cars.
        They do NOT handle anywhere near a standard car.

      2. Sam Dennis says:

        Carl ….he was 24 …. he was not a kid …. he was an adult. No one over 21 is a ‘kid’! Whether someone is mentally mature is another story.

    2. Mcs Vette says:

      With all due respect… After reading this tragedy… All I can do is laugh and say.. RIP man.. you died doing what you love…

    3. Chuck Blinn says:

      That’s right — please be careful when you are driving 111 miles an hour on I-470.

  2. Glad he only killed himself and not someone else. If you drive like a jerk you die like a jerk.

  3. Jimmy Zick says:

    I’ve never heard of the blue Maserati, it must be a new model. I assume Kelly is a chick.

    1. Are you relying solely on your uncanny instincts and well-honed deduction skills…or did the words “she” and “her” provide any clues?

      You’re an idiot.

      1. Taylor Bryde says:

        The fact you did not pick up on the sexism joke makes you the idiot. Stop nitpicking the comments.

  4. Heeeeeere’s your Darwin Award.

  5. Fred Doe says:

    EVERYONE needs a car with that much power don’t they.

    1. My first thought was this must be a post from a sniveling leftie, and then I saw your avatar. Suspicion Confirmed!

  6. probably taking another one of these selfies while driving on the freeway

  7. We owe this guy a thank you. If he hadn’t gotten himself killed he might have reproduced and there’s already enough stupidity in the gene pool.

  8. He’s got Dbag written all over hime

    1. Now that’s an ironic auto correct

  9. Gary O'Neal says:

    “It is impossible for us to understand why these things happen…”

    Speeding at 111 mph is NOT impossible to understand as a cause of death.

    1. Sam Dennis says:

      Gary …. speeding was not the cause of death. It obviously was a prime factor in the accident, but the cause of death was that his heart stopped.

  10. Jack Inmanz says:

    Just another steroid-raged, tattooed freak coming to a bad end.

  11. “Wonderful young man,” lmfaoooooo. Yea, right.

  12. Todd Nanfito says:

    He might have been “wonderful”, according to his close relatives and friends, but that was really foolish and irresponsible.

  13. Mark Em says:

    survival of the (mentally) fittest.

  14. Not saying he deserved to die, but the guy was obviously a narcissist and an out-of-control egotist.

  15. Looks like the world is shy one insufferable d-bag. Plenty more where he came from.

  16. Could it be that he was more interested in the 111mph selfie than driving the car?

  17. He died doing what he loved doing….(too soon??)

  18. These Chrysler Fiat (CFA) products are, with few exceptions, unsafe at any speed. Check out http://www.IIHS.com before you buy a new or used car. CFA ‘top safety picks’ are few and far between. Yet, if they took safety seriously, simple engineering fixes could make their vehicles safer. Would improved crash worthiness helped this guy? Probably not, but don’t forget over 100 others perished in crashes yesterday, we just don’t read about them.

  19. tomkay1012 says:

    That one selfie shot gave me flashbacks of Anthony Wiener. Self destructive behavior. Guess it runs in the genes

  20. 111 mph in 20 seconds is pretty bad for a performance car
    A stock 1966 Mustang could go 0-111-0 in that time

    1. Youre right i had a brand new 66 mustang 289 4bbl 4 speed could go faster than that.Dumb reporters…nowadays 0-60 times are in the 5 sec range for “quasi” fast cars

    2. I can only assume that the car can go much faster, much quicker than that. My 99 Corolla can go from 0 to 100 in 20 seconds. I don’t think this was like Paul Walker where the insane acceleration made him lose control. More than likely it was due to the fact that this guy was going over 100 MPH and trying to live stream it at the same time.

  21. Jonah Kyle says:

    The alt-James T. Kirk did the same thing with a Ford Mustang…he turned out all right!

  22. Another clown bites the dust – Good riddance!

  23. Zero to 111 in 20 secs..is slower than hell

    1. My Mercedes S63 does 0-110 (1/4 mile) in 13 seconds… and it’s a huge sedan… and it would never crash at that speed, it’s just getting warmed up… unless I was trying to film it with my cell phone…

  24. You can fix stupid. Permanently!

  25. Seems as dumb as a democRat.

  26. I’m guessing “mary jane” was his co-pilot…

  27. All the selfie photos of him just scream NPD (narcissistic personality disorder).

  28. My Maserati does 185, I lost my license now I don’t drive.

    1. Dwain Meyer says:

      Other than that, has life been good to you so far?

  29. Really nothing to say but confirm what everyone else has said…WHAT AN IDIOT! Survival of the fittest.

  30. Jack Pod says:

    “Wonderful young man” but an idiot. Makes sense to me.

  31. I am familiar with the area. At least this clown won’t procreate, other clowns. Also, it’s Highlands Ranch, not “Higlands Ranch,” in the meta tag.

  32. Frank Kubin says:

    I don’t understand, why would anyone go fast in a Maserati?

  33. Pete Dosado says:

    Did he wear his seat belt? Oh, wait a minute, from the picture of the wreck and the crushed roof, the seat belt might be moot!

  34. Carl Quick says:

    Dear Car Dealerships,
    Surely, you’ve learned a valuable lesson here today.
    Don’t hire kids to sell sports cars.
    You may as well have given a child a bazooka.
    Children will play, that’s what they do best. Adults are often more responsible.

  35. Luisa Volpi says:

    So here we have a candidate for the Darwin Awards! Hard to feel sorry for some idiot drving while texting! The only up side of this is this moron did not kill some innocent people.

  36. Fred Garvin says:

    Too funny, wigger down, wigger down.

  37. Leo Rodolfo says:

    How is a guy driving a fast car and getting himself killed even news?

    1. I could probably buff that out.

  38. Haynes Den says:

    Who provided these photos? They make him look like a real jerk. His ego and a powerful car was always going to be deadly.

  39. Wasn’t as good as he thought he was, ha,ha!

  40. Jim Olsen says:

    My sincere condolences to his family.

  41. Jeff Montana says:

    My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
    As for the rest of us, we can look at his photos and see that nothing of value was lost–except the car, I suppose.

  42. Steve Hollar says:

    Do stupid things and this is what happens. I wonder what the speed limit is on this section of road? Apparently he didn’t give a damn, or for the safety of others on the road. Sorry, no sympathy.

  43. landed in a ditch near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard….launched from Greeley.

  44. artemis133 says:

    “Please be careful”? How about “PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!”

  45. Tom Ronson says:

    The cause of the crash is obvious. It was caused by stupidity. If your going to wind a car up to 111 MPH, then make sure there are no curves within 2 miles or so.
    This nut didn’t scope out the terrority before he put the pedal to the medal.

    1. I can make a pretty safe argument that your not knowing to use the common word you’re is clearer evidence that you are stupid.

  46. He couldn’t wait until after he stopped to post the video?

  47. Garry Foitz says:

    “It has not been confirmed if the video is connected to the crash ”

    Excepting this sentence, the article strongly implies that the crash immediately followed the video. The quote following further strengthens the implication. BUT that just is not true. They don’t know when he crashed. He could have crashed several hours after the video. Stupidly bad, but typical, MSM reporting.

    As others have said, 0-111 in 20 sec is not impressive for a modern high end sports sedan or for many older muscle cars. Also, looking at the car post-accident, I would suspect that is the result of a faster than 111 mph crash, although that is a bit of a reach to argue without seeing the entire crash site.

  48. A powerlifter told me that the tortoiseshell belly is a symptom of steroid abuse. Look the the guy’s selfie. Ab muscles atop swollen internal organs.

    I have met three guys who got out of control with far too much self-confidence in a bar because steroids affect the mind as well as the body. I hesitate to 80 on a curve. A little chemical courage and I’d kill myself at 111.

  49. Dan Sutton says:

    Can’t understand how these things happen? Seriously? Maybe, just maybe, driving at 111 mph might have some small part of how these things happen.

  50. PHYSICS.

    I hope that helps you understand, Mr. Ward.

  51. Give him a little credit. He made it all the way from Jersey Shore.

  52. Allottt to be said.. for
    THE DARWIN AWARDS..
    Boys.. when WILL YOU GROW UP???

  53. And.. just a BIT.. full of himself??

  54. MY Maserati does 185.
    I lost my license, now I don’t drive.

  55. greggebhardt says:

    Steroids kill

  56. Driving 111 while taking a video with your smartphone… good way to kill yourself. Otherwise, with both hands on the wheel, dry clean road, sunny day… should be no problem in a Maserati. Another Facebook death…

  57. John Smith says:

    Evolution and Natural Selection

  58. What is the point of a car capable of 160 MPH? In MA, driving 100 MPH = immediate loss lof license.

  59. He looks like a real punk…he certainly died like one.

  60. Mark Todd says:

    At first i thought he was demonstrating for a customer and thought that is just too funny. but it was just another crash from live streaming. yawn.

  61. One time I drove for about 30 seconds 245 km/h which is equal to 152 mph on autobahn in Germany 1 year ago. My eyes, 2 hands on the wheel , my heart pounding. I can’t imagine playing with phone at that speed. You must be really stupid and fearless

  62. Another wannabee poser … I hope they docked his pay ….
    or was he so important that his employer had “Key Man” insurance?

  63. The Wicked shall be turned into Hell and all the nations that forget God! Psalm 9:17

  64. “Pay attention. I’m only going to demonstrate this once.”

  65. Dino Lazarus says:

    The doosch was strong with this one.

  66. Randy Conn says:

    The owner’s manual for a 2006 Yaris (1.3L, non USA spec) says to inflate the tires to 32psi if you will be traveling above 160/KM/HR (100 MPH) for extended periods of time.

  67. I was the National Technical Manager for Maserati NA in the 80s. Many of the older Maserati enthusiasts here know who I am. I was tasked with delivering a Lamborghini Countach SS to a client of the Maserati Dealer in Puerto Rico to Mayaguez at the western end of the Island. The original driver was too tall fit in the Lambo and, I lost the coin toss… Once through the toll gate at 52, I redlined the tach for every gear change and found the real world top end of this car… On a long stretch in the desert, passed a little Dodge Colt at (indicated) 218 MPH. The bow wave blew the Dodge Colt off into the desert and pushed the Lambo 30 feet to the left in a sideways skid that lasted almost a half mile. My time at Summit Point was my savior…

  68. Based on the selfies alone he was a probable Darwin Award recipient. Then, some jack-O-leg handed him the keys to a Maserati?

    1. You can rent one of any number of exotic sportscars at most car rental agencies in Florida and Texas. Try before you buy?

  69. My Maserati does One Hundred Eleven
    No Longer Need it, No Roads Here in Heaven

  70. The story would probably be more accurate if it started something like this.

    Based on his facebook pictures alone, this idiot was killed because of his narcissistic immaturity who grew up playing video games and doping. While driving a car he could not possibly understand or handle, and likely doing a selfie live-feed video, he wiped out as expected and died a painfully awful death. Thank god he went alone.

  71. “I read the news today oh boy……he blew his mind out in a car”

  72. Just like Paul Walker. Too much horsepower and not enough BRAINS! They’re going to live forever, remember?

  73. Jeff Conway says:

    From looking at his pictures, the guy was obviously a HUGE fan of himself.

  74. ““It is impossible for us to understand why these things happen …”

    It may be impossible for an idiot, but most people understand why crashes happen at 0 to 111.

  75. Mark Parksel says:

    Well, you know, they make high performance sports sedans for a reason, and it is to drive them fast and hard. For a granny, 111mph seems fast, but on an open road with no one else around, 111mph is nothing. As long as car makers build cars like this Maserati, or a BMW M5, or a 911 Turbo S, or a Lamborghini Huracan, or a La Ferrari, or a Tesla Model S P100D, and so on, guys are going to strive to hit high speeds generally in short sprints. Why else do they build such cars? Why does Elon Musk continually tout his Tesla Model S as “the fastest sports sedan on the planet”? Why does this car have launch control?

    It’s because many guys like to drive fast. Speed sells. So for all of those with their faux anger about somebody driving 111mph on an open road, why don’t you lobby your congressperson to pass laws to prevent car makers from building cars meant for everyday driving that can run 10.5 quarter miles, etc.

    This guys mistake was driving at that speed while not being completely focused on driving at that speed. Driving fast and taking live video of yourself is the truly reckless part, not the speed part. If he was driving that speed weaving in and out of traffic, that would also be truly reckless.

  76. pretend your face is a Maserati.

  77. NotlwonK MiJ says:

    It was a nice car; that’s the tragic story. Thankfully no other nice cars or humans were involved.

  78. Bill Davis says:

    Facebook is cancer. Get off it. It’s killing people, it’s turning their brains into mush. Use Facebook just for closest friends and family and communication. Stop putting your personal lives for the world to see. It’s mental illness and it killed this poor, stupid guy (not a “kid”).

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