Toyota's top test driver killed in German road crash
The chief test driver for Japanese auto giant Toyota was killed in a head-on road crash in Germany while driving a prototype supercar, the carmaker said Thursday.
The Japanese man, identified as Hiromu Naruse, was testing the Lexus LFA sports car when it was involved in a deadly collision on a road near the Nuerburgring race track in western Germany on Wednesday, Toyota said.
"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Hiromu Naruse," Mieko Iwasaki, a spokesman for the company, told AFP.
The spokesman was unable to give further details on the crash.
German newspaper Die Welt reported on its website that the test driver of the other car involved in the collision was injured, along with a passenger.
Toyota said Naruse had worked for the company since 1963. He was 67 years old, according to the German press.
The manufacturer offered its "condolences to the family of Mr Naruse and sympathy for others involved in the accident."
It said it would await clarification as to the cause of the accident from German authorities.
The 375,000-dollar LFA is a two-seat supercar scheduled to go into production at the end of 2010, Toyota says, with plans to build only 500 vehicles.
© 2010 AFP