Don't most cars today have rev limiters? Certainly the Lexus from the article had one. Not the best for the engine perhaps, but not catastrophic either (I quite regularly hit the limiter in my Acura, though to be fair, it's only engaged momentarily). Even if the result were to throw a rod, it would still be better than winding things up to very high speeds and then losing control and crashing ...
I think the big thing is how many people would be calm enough to engage the tools (such as turn off the key, put the car in neutral, engage the brake override) even if they were available.
I once nearly drove my truck through a restaurant wall ... I'd realized I'd dropped something while getting into the truck after I'd gotten in and put the truck into reverse. I can't explain why, but I thought to myself, "I don't need to put it in park, I'll just put it in neutral, hop out and pick it up". So with that in mind I pulled the shifter from reverse down through neutral and into drive as I was hopping out. As you might imagine, the truck started forward up and onto the sidewalk. So, instead of calmly reaching into the truck and a) pushing the shifter into Neutral, b) turning off the key, c) pulling on the parking brake, I chose to d) try to jump into the moving truck and step on the brake. The truck is a little higher than most cars, so you have to step up into it ... so as I was hopping on one foot forward while trying to put my foot on the brake, the truck was climbing the curb. The result was that my foot gave the brake only a glancing blow, after which it slipped onto the accelerator ... Well, now the truck lurched forward and across the sidewalk into the bushes on its path towards the restaurant wall ... I stopped it with about 6' to spare. You should have seen the expression on the people sitting in the booth next to the window as this truck was lurching toward them. (Note that they were like deer in the headlights too ... unlike TV or movies, no one was diving out of the booth to get away, they were just there looking at a 2 1/2 ton truck coming right at them)
Sometimes people's brains (at least sometimes my brain) doesn't always arrive at the best choice of action :-(