My neighbour, Jean-Maxime Perramon was killed on the 101 yesterday.  He got out of his Ferrari at the edge of the freeway and was hit by a Lexus.

According to the CHP report two other vehicles were involved in the accident which happened at approximately 12:25 p.m February 26th 2011.

A silver Chevy van traveling north on the 101, five miles north of Reyes Adobe Road, initiated a lane change.  A silver Lexus ES350 swerved to avoid it but collided with the rear of the van.

The Lexus driver lost control of the car and sideswiped Perramon’s Ferrari parked on the right shoulder.

Jean had stepped out of his vehicle because, according to the report, he thought he had hit a piece of metal.  As he did so, he was instantly struck by the Lexus.

He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The driver of the Chevy has been identified by the CHP as James Pershing Flynn, 67, of Thousand Oaks, and the driver of the Lexus as Antonio Castillo, 37, of Montebello.

“Tonya Nicole Toma, 37, of Agoura Hills, was present in Perramon’s Ferrari at the time of the accident.”

Jean introduced me to Malibu.   Showed me around.  I discovered the house I would end up buying with Jean.  We were once very good friends…for many months inseparable.  Running up and down that bloody Malibu mountain in his Ferrari, attending AA meetings all over LA.

An unwitting child prodigy, Jean began his career earning money drawing chalk pictures on the streets of Paris. His creative talents did not go unnoticed. After completing art college he was hired as an art director by the important French advertising agency Oscar Mors et Varout.  This would lead to his exclusively overseeing the world-wide advertising account for L’Oreal.

He moved to the USA where he became a production designer for the Richard Williams Animation Studio, becoming one of LA’s premier digital directors and designers working with artists and animators to create eyecatching, entertaining projects for clients such as Kellogg’s Froot Loops campaign.

Incredibly successful but mortally wounded by rarely discussed childhood events.

Jean lived with his wife and elderly mother on two lots on Rambla Pacifico.  His Mother doesn’t speak perfect English so I would stop the truck and natter with her in French whenever I saw her.

Jean’s Mother remains a charming local character who walks the neighbourhood waving at passing cars.  Jean was forever shouting at her.

I called his wife this morning.  She sounded understandably exhausted.

Forever remodeling his home.  I wonder if he ever finished it?  Apparently he did, the house stands as a testament to his creativity and endurance.

His struggle to overcome active addiction was legendary to anyone who knew him.  I hope that he died sober.

He was one of the most tormented men I knew.

He will be at peace now.

Very Sad.

P.S.  A few months later his frail mother died in her sleep.

Jean Perramon