The horrifying September car crash involving Kevin Hart and his heavily modified 1970 Plymouth Barracuda muscle car known as Menace has been an ongoing saga. Talks of legal action on both the individual and state level have left those involved and the car community anxiously waiting for the State of California to finish its investigation. It appears that this week we finally have an answer as to who was at fault.
The investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol has finally concluded and the results have been submitted in a public report. CHP states that reckless driving on the part of Hart’s friend Jared Black was the reason for the violent accident. The report confirms that Black accelerated recklessly onto Mulholland Highway, causing one of the rear tires to break loose, which ultimately sent the SpeedKore built 1970 Barracuda into a tree. Both Hart and Black suffered serious back injuries as a result of the crash, while Black’s fiancé walked away relatively unharmed despite sitting in the rear of the car which had undergone a rear seat delete.
During the investigation TMZ reported that the state was looking into the safety devices present on the car, and considered drafting legislation to regulate this aspect of classic cars. This report does not guarantee that the California legislature won’t continue moving forward with increased safety regulations, but it is a promising step to know that nothing mechanically done to the car was at fault. This news is perhaps the most relieving for SpeedKore, who built the Demon-powered muscle car for Hart.
However, we still won’t dismiss the idea that California could soon cast a regulatory spell on classic cars nevertheless.
Driving an old car with north of 800 horsepower is not the easiest task in the world. Horsepower is addicting and has a funny way of luring you to misbehave, which appears to be what happened here. Even in modern cars with all sorts of traction management systems, a high horsepower car can get away from you if you’re not careful, much less in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. At the end of the day everyone walked away from the crash with their lives, and that is worth remembering.