Kevin Hart's recent accident may have been made even worse by his classic car, experts are now saying. The comedian's 1970 Plymouth Barracuda crashed last weekend, leaving him in need of serious surgery and physical therapy. Now, muscle car specialists are speaking up about the dangers in these old vehicles and what can be done about them.
Hart bought himself his bright blue Barracuda back in June as a 40th birthday present. The comic described himself as a muscle car enthusiast. The proprietors of some car customizing shops told TMZ that the Barracuda is indeed a powerful car, but it lacks some safety features to go along with its powerful engine.
The car experts noted that Hart's Barracuda most likely had a 720 horsepower engine — are above the range of a typical commuter car. As such, it should come equipped with a five-point harness and a roll cage, to protect the driver in the event of a crash like the one Hart suffered.
Specialists said it was "highly unusual" for a car as powerful as Hart's not to have these features. Without them, it is no surprise that the crash left him and his friends as banged up as it did.
The public got a look at what remained of Hart's car in photos from the scene published by TMZ. First responders had to cut the roof off of the vehicle to get Hart's friends out, showing no roll cage within. The seat belts also appeared to be normal. Experts were reportedly shocked to see these pictures.
Reporters reached out to the shop that customized Hart's Barracuda for him, SpeedKore. The company had no comment on the safety features apparently missing from the car. By contrast, Rad Rides told reporters that they had worked on the same model for Joe Rogan and had installed a roll cage and five-point harness for the comedian.0comments
Hart was a passenger in his car when it went off the highway last weekend in the Malibu Hills. He reportedly suffered three spinal fractures, and had to have three sections of his back bone fused back together in surgery. He will require months of rehab and physical therapy, but doctors hope to see him make a full recovery.
Hart's friend, Jared Black was driving at the time of the crash. The filmmaker was reportedly not drinking before the accident, and authorities think he simply "lost control" of the powerful car. Black's fiancé, Rebecca Broxterman, was a passenger as well. She came out with only minor injuries, while Black had to be air-lifted to a hospital.