The nephew of Texas-bred mega-millionaire John Moores has died after a crashing his rare British-made Ariel Atom into an SUV on a curvy Rancho Santa Fe road on Christmas Eve.
Barry Alexander Moores, 21, the son of Barry Owen Moores, a noted optometrist and inventor, died 3:58 p.m. on Christmas Day at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
According to TV news reports, the crash happened at two o’clock in the afternoon and may have been linked to speeding.
"Speed is always a factor," CHP Officer Chris Parent told NBC affiliate KNSD at the scene of the accident in the 4400 block of La Orilla. A 21-year-old male passenger in the Moores vehicle was also injured and taken to Palomar Hospital, where his condition has not been reported.
The 62-year-old male driver of the Ford Expedition SUV and his female passenger were taken to Scripps La Jolla with minor to moderate injuries, the TV station said.
"Ninety percent of our crashes are unsafe speed-based," Parent said. "So if we can get people to slow down and pay attention and drive safely, that would obviously help all of us.”
“This is Christmas Eve. People aren’t supposed to be spending time in hospitals. They’re supposed to be at home getting ready to open presents and spend time with family," Parent noted.
A resume posted online by the younger Moores, a 2011 graduate of La Jolla's Bishop's School who was reportedly studying for a business degree at UC Berkeley, says he had been a summer analyst at Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles earlier this year.
In 2012 he was a community relations intern for the Padres, where he "assisted marketing [the] team in advertising efforts" and "acted as ambassador to VIP guests."
The Ariel Atom
The Ariel Atom is promoted on the maker's website with the slogan "No Roof. No Doors. No Compromise." Despite its rarefied and racy reputation, prices for the vehicle start at about $31,000, according to a BBC report.
John Moores has been noted for his Ferrari collection, including a 1967 275 GTB/4S NART Spyder, according to the website ConceptCarz.com.
"After a series of United States owners, it was bought by philanthropist and Ferrari collector John Moores of [Rancho] Santa Fe. He had it restored to its original Argento Silver and then made an extraordinary gesture by auctioning the car in 1998 to raise money for charity. It won Best of Show at the Salon Prive Concours in London.
The ex-baseball mogul also owned a 1955 Mercedes gullwing coupe, which he sold to Sid Craig, husband of the diet queen Jenny Craig.
"Both Sid and his predecessor in ownership John Moores were private men who enjoyed their automobiles for what they were," according to Bonhams.com. "As far as it is known this Gullwing has never made a concours d’elegance appearance, a privilege which awaits its next owner."
A rare 1969 Corvette was also once part of the collection.
"This car was also owned by businessman and philanthropist John Moores of the San Diego Padres and was donated, along with 26 exceptional automobiles which included thirteen 1953 Corvettes as well as CERV II and two Ferrari Nart Spyders, to the Scripps Research Institute to benefit the Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases and was sold by the Scripps Institute several years ago at the Christie's auction at La Jolla, California," according to the website of Proteam Corvette.
"It is well known that much of the paperwork, history, and factory documentation (window sticker) that was possessed by Mr. Moores either was misplaced or lost during either his ownership or that of the Scripps Institute.
A January 2004 Los Angeles Times profile of John Moores quoted Barry on the brothers' humble beginnings.
"Raised in Corpus Christi, he and his two brothers shared a room in a converted garage. With profits from a paper route, he helped buy a car for his stepfather, a newspaperman and musician."
"'In school, Moores "could do his homework in the backseat of the car on the way home,' recalled his younger brother Barry, a retired optometrist. Their parents never pushed them toward college. 'They didn't have any college,' said Barry Moores, 'and it wasn't a big deal for them.'"
According to filings with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, trusts in the name of both Barry Alexander Moores and his father were part owners of Peregrine Systems, Inc., the controversial computer venture of John Moores.