Updated: January 1, 2011 at 12:00 am
Recent Mitchell High School graduate Ian Smith got a crash course in fame when a video he shot of a 20-car pile-up on South Carefree Boulevard on Thursday night grew into the YouTube sensation of the weekend.
Smith, 20, a college student home on winter break, said he was on his way back from a store when he saw the sloped road ahead on South Carefree, west of Powers Boulevard, had turned into a demolition derby. He parked his car out of harm’s way, took out his cell phone and started documenting the damage as one vehicle after another joined the crash-fest.
He can be heard on his video chuckling nervously, giving profanity-laced commentary.
“This is insane! … Oh, (expletive)! I got it on video. (Laughs.) This is terrible,” he said.
During an interview with The Gazette on Saturday, he said he was freaked out about how dangerous the situation had become.
“The whole time I was thinking, ‘I just hope nobody gets hurt. This is crazy,’ ” he said. “It was scary at times.”
Once home, his sister suggested posting the video on YouTube. It quickly went viral, drawing more than 140,000 views.
TV networks started calling, and Smith did interviews on NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC.
He hopes to use his 15 minutes of fame to a jump-start a music career. He enlisted a buddy as a press agent and has posted this on the video: “Check out my other videos and music!!! - SoundCloud.com/iansmith”
“I’m really trying to pursue the whole career of audio engineer,” he said. “I’m graduating from college in April, and I’m going to move to L.A. to pursue the entertainment industry.”
Check out the video here. Reminder: There is profanity.