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Nicole Catsouras 'Nikki' Lost Control of Porsche, Hits Toll Booth Gory Pictures 


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Old 11-26-2006, 03:22 PM
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Nicole Catsouras 'Nikki' Lost Control of Porsche, Hits Toll Booth Gory Pictures

Nicole Catsouras, (Nikki) 18, lost control of a Porsche 911 at speeds over 100 mph. These gory pictures show the aftermath of her crossing the median and crashing into the northbound toll booth on the south side of the Eastern (241) Toll Road in Lake Forest.

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Nicole Catsouras, 18, lost control of a black Porsche 911 Carrera while attempting to pass another vehicle at more than 100 mph, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The Porsche crossed the center median, traveled across north lanes and the Alton Parkway southbound on-ramp, before colliding into a toll booth building.

Nicole Catsouras was pronounced dead at the scene from head trauma.

Police said she was attempting to pass a gray Honda Civic traveling about 70 mph in the far left lane, when the Porsche clipped the Honda and lost control.

The Honda then veered to the left and hit the center median.

The driver of the Honda, a 20-year-old man from Rancho Santa Margarita, was taken by ambulance to Mission Hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

Police found open alcoholic beverage containers inside of the Honda but alcohol is not suspected as a cause of the collision, CHP officials said.

A toll booth operator was believed to be in the structure at the time of the accident. There were no additional injuries, CHP officials said.
An update - In January of 2012, the Catsouras family received a court settlement of over 2.3 million dollars from the California Highway Patrol as the result of these images being released online.
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Last edited by chris; 07-23-2014 at 06:24 PM. Reason: An update on the Catsouras legal case.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:35 PM
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Dear God!! Show that to kids to drivers ed, they will never speed.

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Old 11-27-2006, 04:27 PM
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Oh shit. (She was quite a cutie.)
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Lasting images
Parents fight to clear the Internet of photos taken of their daughter after she was killed in a car crash.
By GREG HARDESTY
The Orange County Register

LADERA RANCH Lesli Catsouras hasn't opened her e-mails in weeks.

Her husband, Christos, dreads having to use the Internet fearful of what he accidentally may see.

They have banned their daughters ages 15, 13 and 8 from going online.

Losing oldest daughter Nikki, 18, in a car crash on Halloween has been hard enough on the Catsouras family.

Now, their heartache is compounded by outrage.

Graphic accident-scene photos, including close-up shots of Nikki, who suffered massive head trauma, have been leaked onto the Internet.

The images have turned up on hundreds of Web sites and in countless chat rooms and e-mails from Australia to Italy. The photos often are accompanied by debates about the merits of the images, with many viewers even vilifying the dead teen.

"We're still just starting to deal with Nikki's death, and now this," said Christos Catsouras, 43. "People are sick."

The family blames the leak on the California Highway Patrol, the agency that is investigating the crash. The family has filed a claim against the state as a precursor to a civil lawsuit. The CHP is investigating.

As they continue to grieve, members of the Catsouras family also find themselves struggling to restore some dignity to Nikki's memory and facing seemingly insurmountable odds to establish some decency in the sometimes insidious, unforgiving grip of the Internet.

The photos are so pervasive, Nikki's 15-year-old sister has stopped going to school out of fear of opening her locker and seeing a photo of her dead sister. She now is being home schooled.

A 12-year-old neighbor who accidentally saw the images is seeing a counselor, according to Christos Catsouras.

Some people have anonymously sent cruel, taunting e-mails to Nikki's relatives including one to her father that read, "From Dead Girl Walking: Woo Hoo Daddy, I'm Alive."
CHALLENGE

A CHP official in Sacramento said the agency cannot discuss the claim filed by the Catsouras family and said the issue of the leaked images remains under investigation.

"We're trying to find out if these are our photos and, if they are, how they were made public," CHP spokesman Tom Marshall said.

Accident-scene photos are meant only for investigative purposes. CHP policy and the state vehicle code forbid them from being distributed publicly.

The CHP is sending notices to operators of Web sites that have posted the images, demanding that they immediately be taken down.

"We certainly do feel sorry for the family," Marshall said.

The Catsouras family has hired a company, Reputation Defender, also to demand that Web site operators remove the offending pictures.

The Catsouras family may face an uphill battle in trying to control use of the pictures on the Internet, said Brian Daucher, a civil litigator and partner with the Costa Mesa office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton who specializes in Internet-related litigation.

"Unfortunately, the law is not always great at regulating human decency," said Daucher, who is not involved in the Catsouras case.

Rights that protect a living person against defamation or invasion of privacy don't necessarily extend past death, Daucher said.

The pictures of Nikki's body also have turned up in at least one class for DUI offenders in Orange County, even though alcohol did not play a factor in the 1:45 p.m. accident, according to the CHP.

Toxicological and autopsy reports are pending, the coroner said.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving strongly opposes the use of gory or graphic images.

"The gore factor doesn't necessarily translate to behavioral changes," said Gail Butler, executive director of the Orange County chapter of MADD. "It would be nice if things were that easy."

One Internet expert theorized about why people would view and circulate such images.

"In the online world, a person can be totally disconnected from the consequences of their actions," said Nancy Willard, executive director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use in Eugene, Ore.

"They can have no empathy. They can't see the harm being done."
FREE SPIRIT

By all accounts, Nikki was not the rich, spoiled partygoer who got drunk and crashed a Porsche given to her by her father a fiction circulating online.

"She was a sweet, wonderful girl who never hurt anyone," said her mother, Lesli Catsouras.

Nikki had just started taking classes at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. She had a passion for photography.

Nikki actually loved thrift stores and wanted to buy a beat-up '80s car, Johnson said.

In its claim, the Catsouras family cites emotional distress, loss of earnings and loss of consortium and seeks punitive damages, said attorney Tyler D. Offenhauser of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara in Newport Beach.

"These images were posted solely for their 'shock and awe' value, without any consideration whatsoever for the feelings of the family," Offenhauser said. The 911 calls also are circulating online, he said.

The Catsouras family found out about the photos a few days after Nikki's funeral.

One of her cousins, Zoe, 19, got a text message on her cell phone.

When she opened it, she saw thumbnail images of the accident scene one of Nikki shown slumped over and still strapped into the driver's seat, most of her head and face missing and threw her phone down in shock.

The night before she died, Nikki had gotten into an argument with her father about "typical teenager stuff," Christos Catsouras said.

He disciplined her by taking away the keys to her car.

Nikki's mother said her daughter wasn't feeling well Oct. 31. She had a 3 p.m. appointment to see a doctor.

Christos Catsouras had lunch at home that day. He works five minutes away at a real estate office.

He recalled telling Nikki before he went back to the office that he loved her. She blew him a kiss and flashed him a peace sign.

After he left, Nikki walked to a key rack in the house and took the keys to her father's $150,000 Porsche which Nikki had never driven, her father said.

The keys were hanging where they always were, with all the others.

Lesli Catsouras heard the garage door open and the car leave and called her husband, who called 911. He immediately drove around looking for her.

Nikki had taken off down the Eastern (241) Toll Road in his black 911 Carrera.

As she tried to pass a car that was going about 70 mph, she clipped it and lost control of the Porsche, the CHP said.

She slammed into a toll-booth building at Alton Parkway in Lake Forest.

Christos Catsouras' mind continually goes back to his last moments with his daughter.

Every day, he said, he kisses his daughters goodbye.

That day, he didn't kiss Nikki. In an interview, his eyes welled up. He fell silent.

Lesli Catsouras sat next to him, staring blankly ahead, her arms tightly crossed.

"She was our child," she said.
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:51 PM
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Such a terrible loss...
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:39 PM
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Dang, she messed up her hair pretty badly.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:12 PM
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i feel bad for both the girl and her parents. no one should ever have to go through this and no one should ever have to die like that. i just hope for the girl's sake that it was a quick death and she felt nothing. what in the heck made her drive so fast? where was she going? i can't imagine the pain the parents had to go through and is still going through. i only hope that this will teach a lesson to teenagers today. it doesn't pay to go so fast because if you do, you might end up like this girl. just because you're behind the wheel of a car doesn't mean you're invincible. NO ONE is!!! be careful, drive safe, and remember to check all your mirrors, your windows and everything else around you before passing another car. you don't want to end up like this.

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:04 PM
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I don't think she suffered to long tigger21.........
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:19 PM
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Sad for the family, but...

Human nature shows that a lot of people want to see gory things. I don't think The California Highway Patrol should be sued for this situation. The horrible thing is the lack of decency in people that have sent the pictures in e-mails and text messages to the family members. I don't understand and can't comprehend that kind of cruelty.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:02 PM
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for whatever it's worth.

Don't put a state of the art vehicle, like this Porsche, in the hands of a teenie-boppin-zit-squisher.

Honestly I feel sorry for the sisters and brothers...the parents can figure their own way out of the decision they made.

She was beautiful...
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