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OFF BEAT: Best of October

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Explanation of car accident is all wet

An insurer hopes that a YouTube video showing a rare, $1 million Bugatti car swerving into a lagoon in Texas will help it win its case against a man it accuses of insurance fraud.

Just three weeks before the car was videotaped driving off a highway and into the lagoon, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. issued a $2.2 million policy on the 2006 Bugatti, according to reports.

The man at the wheel of the car, Andy House, told investigators he dropped his cellphone while driving near Houston, and when he looked up, he saw a pelican and that caused him to veer into the lagoon.

But a trial is scheduled to commence this month in a lawsuit filed by the insurer, which claims Mr. House intentionally drove into the lagoon to destroy the car. The insurer also says it has an informant who alleges that Mr. House offered to pay to have the car stolen and set afire.

The car is extremely rare, with just a few hundred made. It is also technologically advanced, which raised questions about why Mr. House left the motor running after driving off the highway. He claims that happened because he was distracted by mosquitoes, reports state.

The video on which the insurer is relying for evidence came from car enthusiasts who were marveling at the Bugatti when it went off the highway.

The insurer argues that the video, which has received 3 million YouTube views, does not show any sign of a pelican when the car crashed. But Mr. House is countersuing and says the insurer owes him $2.2 million in damages.