CS:GO YouTube star McSkillet among three killed in San Diego head-on car crash
Woman and daughter also dead after the 18-year-old reportedly drove supercar into oncoming traffic
A teen YouTube star was one of three people killed in a head-on collision on a motorway in San Diego.
The 18-year-old man drove his McLaren 650S supercar in the wrong direction down the I-805 motorway in San Diego on Thursday afternoon.
The California Highway Patrol identified him as Trevor Heitmann of San Diego.
But the nearly 900,000 subscribers to his YouTube video channel and his Twitter followers knew him as McSkillet.
Various tweets by gaming fans said he had been banned from facilitating e-sport gambling that had brought him a sizeable income – enough to buy a handmade, 2015 British McLaren 650S sports car that would have cost US$250,000 or more.
The McLaren, with Heitmann behind the wheel, slammed head-on into a Hyundai SUV and both vehicles burst into flames.
Those who died in the SUV were tentatively identified by the county medical examiner’s office as a 43-year-old San Diego woman and her 12-year-old daughter.
Witnesses to the crash spoke of seeing the car swerve and explode.
One man, Hector Puga, told NBC News: “All I could do was hold on to my steering wheel and run over everything that exploded.”
A woman who witnessed the crash told another television station: “It was like a scene from a movie. All the cars were stopping. There was smoke, fire, loud noise.”
#UPDATE: Former classmates say the 18-year-old driving a high-end sports car in the fatal I-805 pileup Thursday was the popular YouTube personality Trevor "McSkillet" Heitman, though officials have not confirmed his identity.https://t.co/E3UM6n5X00 pic.twitter.com/hCjfiieUie
— FOX 5 San Diego (@fox5sandiego) August 24, 2018
Thirty minutes before the crash, the same McLaren car was seen crashing through the gates of Ashley Falls elementary school in the city.
McSkillet made a fortune selling custom digital “skins” that change the look of in-game characters or items, which were used on weapons in the first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
He had been banned from an online marketplace for allegedly being involved in a skin gambling website called CS: GO Magic.
It has been reported that the ban affected his income.
The YouTuber never revealed his real name or his face online.
He posted a video in December of the black McLaren 650S he had bought some months earlier. Without appearing on camera himself, he shows close-ups of the car interior, back end and full view with open wing-like doors.
— Kristen Shanahan (@k_shan7) August 24, 2018
He describes the car as “pretty damn insane” and said he could afford it because he had “made a tonne” of money online.
One person on Twitter said the McLaren driver was his friend who was going through a hard time.
Waking up to seeing what McSkillet did, I have no words honestly.. I’ve watched him since 2015 and for him to go and do something like that is just mind blowing. R.I.P to all involved.
— Cam (@camaron9769) August 24, 2018
Others on Twitter condemned him for killing two innocent people.
Kevin Hitt, editor in chief of VPesport.com online gaming news outlet, said Valve, under constraints from the state of Washington gambling commission, confiscated about US$200,000 worth of McSkillet’s skins and shut down his ability to acquire more.
Hitt said McSkillet, and others in the gaming gambling world, would take bets on the potential value of skins, and third-party sites would use software to assign a dollar value to different styles of skins, based on their relative rarity. Other sites would make the payouts to betters, taking a commission.
The Guardian and Tribune News Service