Tycoon, 25, killed in Lamborghini crash

A MOTORIST has died after his £160,000 supercar careered off the M8 and burst into flames.

Gurcharn Singh Padda, 25, from Lenzie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, was killed at the scene after his black Lamborghini Gallardo collided with several trees. A female passenger was thrown free as the car landed on its roof.

The 29-year-old woman, who is believed to be a friend visiting Mr Padda from Dubai, was taken to Wishaw General Hospital, where she was being treated for a broken collarbone and abdominal injuries.

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The accident took place at about 11:10 on Wednesday night, three-quarters of a mile west of junction four at Whitburn, West Lothian.

Police said the car, one of the fastest in Britain, was being driven westbound at the time.

There are fewer than 1,000 Gallardos in the UK, according to a Lamborghini spokeswoman.

Known to his friends and family as "Gush", Mr Padda owned a large portfolio of properties in the Glasgow area, inherited from his late father, the Kirkintilloch-based restaurateur Billy Padda.

One family member, who asked not to be named, told The Scotsman last night: "This has been a terrible and massive shock to the whole family.

"Gush had a couple of cars, but used the Lamborghini for special occasions. He had probably only had it for a year or so."

Harry Padda, 18, who was a cousin of the dead man and works at the Padda Nirmal Singh chain of supermarkets in Glasgow, said yesterday the tragedy had left the family reeling.

A floral tribute left at the scene of the crash yesterday read simply: "Gurcharn Singh Padda – best brother ever."

The cause of the crash has yet to be established.

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Bear Scotland, which is responsible for maintaining major roads, said that conditions on the M8 were wet but not icy on Wednesday night, with the whole road treated with salt between 9pm and 11pm. A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police yesterday confirmed that the speed the car was travelling at was a factor in the force's investigation. He added that he did not think alcohol or drugs were forming part of that inquiry.

Launched in 2003, the Lamborghini Gallardo has a huge V-10 engine and can reach 60mph from a standing start in 3.9 seconds. It has a top speed of 196mph.

Jim Dunn, motoring writer for The Scotsman, said: "Gallardos are one of the safest supercars about because of the Audi four-wheel drive system, braking and stability control.

"But the last one I drove was the Gallardo Super Legera last February, during heavy rain. I had problems with aquaplaning." The car was named Top Gear's Car of the Year in 2006 and featured in last year's Batman sequel The Dark Knight.

Among the celebrities who own a Gallardo are sports stars David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Shaquille O'Neil.

Juliet Jarvis, Lamborghini's UK press officer, said: "All fatal accidents are tragic. We do not know the detail of this incident and cannot comment."

A police spokesman said: "Obviously this is a tragic incident, and we are extremely keen to speak to any witnesses who were on the motorway last night."

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