Man Drives $1M Bugatti Into Lagoon, Ends Up in Prison
Crash was less due to a 'low-flying pelican' than insurance fraud
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 2:33 PM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2015 5:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A Texas man who may or may not have purchased a $1 million car for the express purpose of driving it into a lagoon was sentenced to more than a year in prison Tuesday, KTRE reports. According to the Houston Chronicle, Andy House—who owns a salvage yard for exotic cars—bought the 2006 Bugatti Veyron in October 2009. The following month, he drove it into the Gulf Bay lagoon. After crashing his expensive ride, House left the engine running, which totaled the car by sucking a bunch of salt water into the engine, KTRE reports. According to Jalopnik, House originally said he was distracted by a "low-flying pelican" before later claiming he was reaching for his cellphone when he crashed.

KTRE reports House had insured the Bugatti for $2.2 million prior to sinking it in the lagoon, and received an insurance settlement of $600,000. (Now we're no insurance experts, but this seems like a bad deal for House.) Unfortunately for House, the crash was filmed and put on YouTube by someone who was just attempting to admire his fancy car. Evidence later showed in court proved he purposefully drove the Bugatti into Gulf Bay, according to Jalopnik. And the Chronicle reports House pleaded guilty to insurance fraud. According to Jalopnik, House "got off surprisingly easy," as he had faced up to 20 years in prison for the crime. However, he's got to pay back that settlement. (After the crash, a tow-truck driver was surprised at how "calm" House was.)