We’ve always been fans of the Gumball concept here at Motor Authority–driving fast cars across countries while hanging out with celebrities and generally having a good time. Sadly, the 2007 event, which promised to be bigger and better than ever before, has been cancelled due to a fatal accident in Albania. Two British drivers in a Porsche 911 were involved in a high-speed accident with a VW Golf in which a man died and his wife remains in critical condition. According to a Gumball official, “The Golf pulled out from a stop sign and Mr Morley and McConville tried to swerve around it but clipped the side of the car.”

Update: The man's wife has now passed away due to injuries sustained from the accident.

The two men involved are Nick Morley and Matt McConville, who both work in the same property development company. The drivers apparently left the scene of the accident and were caught by authorities shortly afterwards trying to get away in a Russian-registered BMW M6.

The Gumball rally has always skirted the edges of the law, content with terrorizing small countries with rich people driving fast cars. Its motto has always been ‘it’s not a race, it’s a rally,’ but this has never been taken very seriously by the participants. Having seen video from the rally and the dangerous driving involved, we’re surprised that this is the first fatality after nine years of running.

Founder and CEO of the Gumball rally, Maximillion Cooper, released the following statement:

Following our earlier release reporting yesterday’s accident - As a sign of respect we have decided that this year's Gumball 3000 Rally will not travel any further and will end in Bratislava this evening, May 3rd 2007.

As the organizers of the rally we feel that it should be stopped as a mark of respect to Vladimir Cepulyoski who died today after an accident involving one the participating drivers.

We are very saddened by what has happened and feel that it would be wrong to continue. On behalf of Gumball 3000, we once again extend our deepest sympathies to his family and we are doing everything we can for them.

This is the first time anything like this has happened in 9 years of traveling through over 40 countries with 1000's of drivers and it is with deep regret that I make this announcement.