A Denver-area Maserati salesman was killed in a crash not long after posting a Facebook Live video showing him driving the powerful luxury sports car at 111 miles per hour during a joy ride.
Brandon Gianopoulos, 24, of Fort Collins, was identified as the driver of the 2017 Maserat that crashed into a pond in Highland Ranch on January 13, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
The mangled sports car, worth more than $100,000, was spotted the morning of January 14 by a passerby and Gianopoulos was found dead inside the vehicle. He was identified as the victim on January 16, the sheriff’s office said. No one else was in the car.
The car was not stolen, the sheriff’s office said. Gianopoulos worked for Mike Ward Maserati in Highlands Ranch, and “had access to vehicles on the lot as a part of his duties.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Facebook Live Video Shows the Maserati’s Speedometer as the Car Accelerates to 111 Miles Per Hour
Police have declined to comment on whether the video, which you can watch above, posted to Brandon Gianopoulos’ Facebook page was taken just before the crash, or whether it was a contributing factor in causing Gianopoulos to lose control of the Maserati.
But a co-worker wrote in the comments, “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!,” according to CBS News.
The 27-second video, which does not have audio, shows the Maserati accelerating from 0 to 111 miles per hour as Gianopoulos drove down a dark road.
The video was posted at 7:25 p.m. Friday night and was recorded in Highlands Ranch, where the crash occurred. It has been viewed more than 20,000 times.
While some comments on the video expressed condolences to Gianopoulos’ family, others criticized the reckless driving, saying he put other lives at risk.
“Sorry to hear of this tremendous loss but also very sorry at the same time to know that he chose to drive this way and “live” feed it too. This definitely could have been prevented. Now his family and friends mourn beyond measure. So unfortunate. RIP,” wrote Robert Kunce.
Cindy Lynn Butterfield wrote, “So so sad. What a waste of a young life. I hope everyone learns from this.”
2. Investigators Say ‘Reckless Speeds’ Were a Factor in the Crash
Investigators from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are still determining what caused the fatal crash, but told CBS Denver “reckless speeds” were a contributing factor.
The sheriff’s office said Gianopoulos was the only occupant of the Maserati and no other cars were involved in the crash.
“The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but excessive speed is suspected as a contributing factor,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “This case is still an open investigation and no further information will be released at this time.”
The blue Maserati was pulled from a ditch near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard, where it had come to a rest after the crash, about 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, after the wreckage was spotted by a passerby.
It is not clear exactly when the crash occurred, but police believe it was Friday night.
The scene of the crash is not far from the Maserati dealership where Gianopoulos worked.
He was found dead inside the car, which was covered in frost in a retention pond at the bottom of the ditch.
It is not clear if Gianopoulos died from injuries suffered in the crash, or if he drowned when the Maserati was submerged in the icy pond. The sheriff’s office did not release a cause of death.
3. Gianopoulos Began Working as a Salesman at the Maserati Dealership in October
Gianopoulos began working for Mike Ward Maserati in October 2016, according to his Linkedin profile. He also worked for the Mike Ward Infinit dealership that is also located in Highlands Ranch.
He was a sales associate.
“Brandon was a wonderful young man who will be deeply missed by his family and by his co-workers at Mike Ward Automotive,” the dealership said in a statement. “It is impossible for us to understand why these things happen and we are all extremely saddened by this tragedy. Our condolences go out to his family and all that knew and loved Brandon. Our Prayers are with you all.”
4. He Graduated From Colorado State University & Previously Worked at a Gym in Fort Collins
Brandon Guy Gianopoulos was originally from Boston, according to his Facebook page. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2015 with degrees in health and physical education/fitness, he said on Linkedin.
He founded a fitness company, called Genetik Freak, in November 2015:
A Genetik Freak is someone who recognizes that there is something more inside of themselves than what has been unveiled to the world so far. Today we see too many accepting sub par versions of themselves. The norm has become what used to be thought of as substandard. We are the Freaks. We are the outliers. We are the ones who demand the most from our DNA. We know that with some hard work and dedication we can optimize the tools that have been given to us and turn ourselves into the best versions possible.
We want to be part of something bigger with like minded people. We want to see the people working hard like us every day to make themselves a little bigger, a little stronger, a little bit closer to becoming the best version of themselves they ever dreamed possible. We want you to join the Genetik Freak Nation.
Before working at the Maserati dealership, Gianopoulos worked at a 24 Hour Fitness gym in FOrt Collins as a sales manager. He was also a regional sales director for ViSalus Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge.
5. Gianopoulos Recently Posted on Facebook About Getting Through ‘Harsh Times’ in His Life
Gianopoulos posted on Facebook the day before the fatal crash about overcoming challenges in life.
“I have been through some harsh times… it developed myself and I can say i’m in the best position I can be, everything is feeling 💯 Grit folks, Grit!!! You can live life knowing every interaction only has two outcomes in life; success or learning. Cheers 🍻 to 2017🙏😍,” Gianopoulos wrote in the Facebook post a day before his death.
Friends posted tributes to Gianopoulos on his Facebook page after his death.
“You are honest to god the definition of a good person! You are a person who has become an amazing friend of mine and now in a different but better place! Brandon Guy Gianopoulos I pray for you and your family! This breaks my heart! Never forgotten!” Cory Landry wrote.
Another friend, Juliana Gomez-Leach, wrote “You always made me laugh at work. You were a shinning start. I enjoyed our time together. I am devastated by the way we lost you! I hope you are already having fun in heaven! I will never forget you buddy!”