Mercedes-Benz ‘new car smell’ blamed for tragic hit and run accident

Martin You may recall THIS disturbing story our sister blog reported earlier this year from Vail, Colorado where District Attorney Mark Hurlbert offered a hit and run driver who struck a cyclist a deal to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts, while dropping a more serious felony charge.

It all started on July 3rd when 34-year-old New York physician Steven Milo went for a bike ride in Vail, Colorado.

Allegedly 52-year-old Denver based money manager Martin Joel Erzinger (picture here), who owns a home in Vail and manages more than $1 billion in assets for wealthy clients for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, struck Milo from behind with his Mercedes and left the scene of the accident.

After a public outcry and protests by Milo’s attorneys, the felony charge was refiled in October.

The latest news in this continuing and disturbing story is just as strange.

According to the Vail Daily Erzinger’s attorneys now blame sleep apnea combined with the Mercedes-Benz “new car smell” as the reason for him striking the Milo and driving away from the scene of the collision:

“An accident reconstructionist says new-car smell may have contributed to the accident.

John Koziol of Koziol Forensic investigated the accident, according to court documents.

Erzinger had purchased the car about a month before the accident. Koziol found in his investigation he found that it was emitting new car fumes, court documents said. It might have been a contributing factor, documents said.

“Harmful and noxious gases emitted from the upholstery can infiltrate the driver’s compartment and potentially alter the driver,” Koziol wrote.

While the new car fumes could have been a contributing factor, “there’s no scientific basis for that,” Tegtmeier said.

“Once we found out that he suffers from sleep apnea, we were confident that was the cause,” Tegtmeier said.”

You can read the rest of the story HERE.

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