The Tail of the Dragon is one of the most well-known “driving roads” for car and motorcyclist enthusiasts in the Eastern USA as it features no less than 318 curves over an 11 mile stretch of two-lane road that winds through the Appalachian mountains on the Tennesee-North Carolina border.
That popularity can make US-129 one busy road, and unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen.
We heard about this accident on Saturday involving a 2020 Corvette Stingray and a Mazda Miata. Although we believe this story first originated on Facebook, a post on the Corvette Forum by “gilbybarr” brings us the news:
Regularly there are threads here on the Forum about driving “The Dragon” here in the Knoxville area. While it can be invigorating, it unfortunately can also be dangerous, even if you are being careful. The photos below depict an accident recently on the Dragon when a C8 was struck by an older Miata whose driver allegedly failed to control his vehicle in the turns. Be careful out there!
A Facebook post from Lucas Moebes who may be the originator of this story lays the blame squarely on the Miata driver:
“To clear up any confusion, the Miata hit the C8. Miata came in with too much speed, understeered, and aimed it at the rear of the car instead of the front. Took the rear wheel right off the C8 and airbags deployed in the Miata. Everybody is okay, both cars are totalled [sic].”
We are glad to see that everyone is okay and of course our hearts go out to the Corvette owner for his loss. That damage looks pretty bad considering the rear wheel was ripped off the car, and I hope all can be made right for him.
As for the young Mazda owner, mistakes happen and he should be thanking his lucky stars that the Corvette couple wasn’t seriously injured.
Several members of the Forum sounded off with discussions about how the Dragon is especially congested on the weekends with many near misses from the “limit pushers” as one user described. As for the Mazda, “waynger” sums up what many of us were thinking: “That Miata was a wreck before it crashed.”
The driver of the Mazda Miata reached out to us and gave us this statement regarding the accident. We appreciate his response and hope this will add to the discussion:
I was the Miata driver who hit the C8…just wanted to clarify a few things. First, no one was hurt and that was the first thing I made sure of when it happened. Didn’t even realize I was bleeding until the cop told me. Second, we were both there for the Tougefest event going on; we were both there to push the cars a little. Could say more on that but I won’t for the Vette owner’s sake. Third, just misjudged where the exit of the corner was and went in too hot, by the time I was coming around my fronts weren’t up to par so I just fought over as much as I could to avoid a head-on [crash] to prevent any serious injury. Believe me, I’m more thankful than anyone that no one was hurt, that was my immediate concern when it happened. I will say the Miata was typically capable of handling it, and I’ve got people that can confirm that, but my theory is the fronts were just getting old and gave way. Regardless, I’ll still totally own up to it and admit it was on me. The situation is being amended, selling my daily (A 2010 Gen Coupe) to buy a cheap truck, and pay for insurance for a while, plus getting a second job to cover excess. The C8 owner and I ended up getting things worked out and I will definitely make sure he gets his rightful C8. Believe me, I’m stupid but I’m not an ass. Amends will be made one way or another.
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