In a classic case of a teacher going above and beyond for their students, a teacher from Naperville North High School and his team were recently busted borrowing a sports car through the Turo app to compete in a land speed record race in Beeville, Texas.
The all-female student group was originally building a truck for the race, but it became inoperable on the way to the competition. Fox 32 News reports that this led their teacher Gregory Ditch to rent a 2021 Toyota Supra GR 3.0 through the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform Turo from Geovanni Morales, a San Antonio native.
Ditch reportedly rented the vehicle for approximately three days, during which the car was driven in the race that got the vehicle up to 260km/h (160mph). Morales noticed something was wrong when the car was returned and discovered that the vehicle was raced, causing damage worth approximately $4,000, mainly due to all four tyres needing replacing.
Despite renting the car from Morales through Turo, Ditch initially denied renting the car through the platform when asked by Fox 32’s Natalie Bomke. Unfortunately for the teacher, photos posted to social media not only show a car match the vehicle rented from Turo, the registration plate is also identical.
When Fox 32’s Natalie Bomke asked Ditch, “So just to be clear, you didn’t rent it from Turo or did you?” Ditch replied, “No, did not, did not.”
“I borrowed the vehicle from, we ended up with the vehicle from, it didn’t come from Toyota, so I started making some phone calls and I got it from a dealer,” said Ditch.
Turo sent Morales a letter after a third-party investigation stating, “We definitely have enough to show they were violating our prohibited uses and racing the vehicle. We will follow up with them for further action.”
“We borrowed it, it’s legitimate, so I don’t know who he is or what the full story is with him, but that’s not at all what happened,” said Ditch.
Morales told Fox 32 “I’ve been doing rentals for a while,” he said.
“Usually I’m concerned when it’s a younger guy. He’s a lot older, he knows about cars, he’s a teacher, so I’m like ok my car’s in good hands.”
Morales said that he had a feeling that the vehicle was being raced, but he trusted Ditch as he was a teacher and knew about cars. Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, has confirmed that the vehicle was rented through their app. Morales said that he would have never rented the car if he had known it would be used for racing.
The incident highlights the need for responsible usage of car-sharing platforms and the importance of transparency when renting a vehicle. As the investigation continues, Ditch may face disciplinary action for his actions.