Videos: What Might Be the First Z/28 Crash – OnStar is There to Help

Ken Thwaits seems like our kind of guy. There are a lot of 2014 Z/28 buyers who put their Camaro into bubble wrap the moment they got it home, but Ken isn’t one of them – though the car shown in these videos has plates, we’d guess it probably has more miles on a race track than on the street. As a matter of fact, he may have the honor of being the first Z/28 owner to crash the car, and he’s certainly the first to have a crash so well-documented on video.

Thwaits was turning laps at Road Atlanta America when the incident occurred (perhaps one of our readers can watch and identify the exact turn), an overcooked exit to a 90-degree right-hand turn leading to a half-spin and contact with the wall. The broadside hit, seen from outside the car, is impressive:

What’s more impressive, though, is the in-cabin video. Almost lost in the hiss of what we presume are the airbags deflating is the sound of the OnStar Automatic Crash Response system kicking in. We hear the the ring tone, and an emergency response operator immediately asks if there are any injuries. Ken doesn’t reply immediately, so the operator asks again, and Ken tells him that he’s OK.

The operator then informs Ken he’s calling the local 911 number, and Ken has to explain, “I’m on a racetrack.” Finally convinced that all is well, the operator disconnects as the track safety crew arrives and Ken climbs out to inspect the damage.

It’s a tough way to demonstrate that OnStar works in emergencies, and we hope that Ken gets his Camaro fixed and back on the track soon.

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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