Father of two killed after crashing garage-built buggy he called 'Deathkart'

Father of two killed after crashing garage-built buggy he called 'Deathkart'

Questions over structural integrity and legality

IN A sobering tale for anyone with plans for a home-built “project car”, a Virginian man has been killed after crashing a Honda Civic-based buggy he constructed in his garage.

Anthony Dillard, 24, died from injuries sustained when he lost control of his vehicle, drifted into the on-coming lane and was struck by a Pontiac on the rear passenger side. The force of the impact crumpled the makeshift rollcage and Dillard was ejected from the buggy.

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According to reports, the husband and father of two’s custom car was a beloved project vehicle, with registration plate “KART LYF” and multiple videos on social media chronicling its construction. In what some may view as a tragic omen, Dillard had dubbed his vehicle the “Deathkart”.

my plates need to hurry up 🙄🙄

A post shared by Anthony Dillard (@2lo_2go) on

Police are investigating incident, specifically the fact that the Deathkart’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) still identified it as a Honda Civic; a spokesperson told the Virginian Pilot it should not have, as it was too modified from its original form.

It’s likely a true Civic would not only have been more predictable to drive but would have protected Dillard much more effectively, possibly saving his life.

Dillard leaves behind a wife and two children.

Reporting on the story, motoring website Jalopnik offered the following advice for those thinking of building their own project cars:

“Don’t mess with the crash structures underneath your car’s body unless you know what you’re doing. Use strong rollcage-grade steel that won’t bend in a crash that’s properly triangulated and tied into the car with sufficiently large spreader plates. Toss out anything that doesn’t have a good, fully penetrating weld or isn’t bent properly.

“Or better yet, take your project to a professional cage builder who already knows how to build a roll cage. There’s no shame in consulting the pros over a vital safety component.”

The article also pointed to a Facebook Marketplace “feeler” ad for Dillard’s car, in which he admitted to not being skilled in this area:

Father of two killed after crashing garage-built buggy he called 'Deathkart'

“*Disclosure* im not a profession fabricator to yes the welds might not look like dimes but unless you were born a professional welder i dont want to here it.”

Brits who build their own project cars are required to register them with the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency. If a car has been “radically altered” from the original, it will receive a “Q” registration, meaning its history is unknown… but only if it complies with the road vehicles regulations for use on the road.