As fans of horror films and anyone who’s watched television in the last week knows, Friday marks the opening of The Hitcher. It’s a Gen Y update of the 1986 C. Thomas Howell/Rutger Hauer flick that scared a generation of drivers off picking up hitchhikers and eating French fries. But it’s nothing compared to the real life story of the screenwriter (of the original and, along with two other credited writers, the remake), Eric Red.
According to a harrowing 2006 LA Weekly cover story subtly titled “Death Race 2000,” Red was involved in a horrific auto accident and seeming suicide attempt in Santa Monica that left one person dead and several others injured in 2000.
The Weekly‘s Paul Cullum described the accident as follows:
According to witness statements, [Red’s] Jeep struck his car a second time, gradually picking up speed, until it jackknifed the Honda into oncoming traffic … and suddenly it was going an estimated 35-40 miles per hour the wrong way across Wilshire, witnesses told police. It jumped the curb and obliterated a bus stop, scooping up 26-year-old Santa Monica City College English student David Roos, who was running for the safety of Q’s Billiards, located at 11835 Wilshire, immediately behind him. Taking out an outdoor patio of tables and scattering bodies…