Ferrari Crash Could Affect China Leadership Transition
Bizarre accident reportedly involved son of close presidential adviser
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2012 2:26 PM CDT
In this photo taken on March 14, 2010, Ling Jihua, left, looks on as Chinese President Hu Jintao, bottom right, signs a document at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – A Ferrari crash in China that happened back in March is getting fresh attention now that it turns out it could have an impact on the country's political leadership transition. The crash was insane even without any political tie-in: The black Ferrari 458 Spider—purchased for nearly $1 million—was going so fast it split in half upon impact with a bridge in Beijing at 4am; reports conflict on whether the young man driving was killed on impact; with him in the car were two women, both of whom were seriously injured; and all three were in various states of undress—meaning, as one website run by a Chinese émigré spells out, that they may have been "engaged in sex games" at the time.

Then, reports emerged that information about the crash had been quickly deleted, and signs of a cover-up began to emerge. This weekend, a Chinese newspaper reported that the driver was Ling Gu, the 23-year-old son of Ling Jihua—who just so happens to be the closest adviser to departing Chinese President Hu Jintao. Or at least he was: Also this weekend, the elder Ling was demoted, apparently as a consequence of the crash and the possible cover-up. Ling may have wanted to cover up the crash because of the questions it would raise about how the son of a Communist party official was able to afford such a pricey car, not to mention questions about the passengers—who were reportedly Tibetans. Now, the big question is how this will affect what was supposed to be a perfectly choreographed transition from Hu to the next president, Xi Jinping. Time and the New York Times have more on that; Business Insider has a good roundup of coverage of the crash.