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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.