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 (112)
  1. 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”).

  2. NotlwonK MiJ says:

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

  3. pretend your face is a Maserati.

  4. 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.

  5. ““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.

  6. Jeff Conway says:

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

  7. i guess he wasn’t fast enough.

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

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

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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?

  13. 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…

  14. Cancel my Maserati order!

  15. 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.

  16. Dino Lazarus says:

    The doosch was strong with this one.

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

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

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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

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

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

  24. John Smith says:

    Evolution and Natural Selection

  25. 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…

  26. greggebhardt says:

    Steroids kill

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

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

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

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

  31. PHYSICS.

    I hope that helps you understand, Mr. Ward.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

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

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