Tesla Driver Killed In High-Speed Crash, Battery Keeps Reigniting For More Than A Day

A Tesla owner was tragically killed in a crash in Davie, Florida on Sunday afternoon – and authorities report that the car’s battery reignited multiple times after.

Omar Awan was driving his 2016 Model S on South Flamingo Road near Fort Lauderdale when, at approximately 4:30 pm, the car veered off the road. Police spokesman Sergeant Mark Leone says Awan appeared to overcorrect the car before totally losing control. The car then crossed three lanes of traffic and crashed into a row of trees in the median.

Witnesses tried to save Awan but an intense fire prevented them from getting close to the car. Police say Awan’s body was “burned beyond recognition” and that the car was traveling between 75 mph to 90 mph (120 km/h to 144 km/h) at the time of the crash. The speed limit at this section of the road was 50 mph (80 km/h)…

Battery keeps flaming up because… that’s how they work

Forbes reports that, for at least a day after the crash, emergency officials had to deal with the battery pack reigniting at least three times while the car sat in a towing yard.

Tesla models, and other electric vehicles, have been known to be very difficult to extinguish and often reignite. Tesla itself mentions that this is a risk in its Emergency Response Guide.

“Battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish. Consider allowing the battery to burn while protecting exposures.

“Due to potential re-ignition, a Model S that has been involved in a submersion, fire, or a collision that has compromised the high voltage battery should be stored in an open area at least 50 ft (15 m) from any exposure,” the guide reads.

Now, we’re not suggesting that the fire was the actual cause of death; that’s for the coroner to determine. It’s also true the crash was so violent that, even if the EV hadn’t erupted in flames, the injuries sustained by the driver might have been lethal anyway. And yes, even ICE-powered cars are known to flame up when they crash (or even when they don’t). Not inferring anything – it’s just a tragedy when you can’t even attempt to help an injured person…


  • kachuks

    I wonder how toxic those burning batteries are to the environment?

    • Ben

      Not as toxic as some Tesla drivers, especially California ones.

    • ChrisInIL

      Not to mention the toxicity of all the effort it takes to mine and transport the materials for, manufacture, and ship those batteries. Let’s also not forget that it takes a lot of energy to charge those batteries, much of which is generated through the conversion of hydrocarbons into that energy. Last, we should also remember that batteries are heavy, so it takes energy just to lug them around everywhere.

  • PhilMcGraw

    Slightly unrelated: what’s the purpose of vehicles being able to read speed limit signs if they don’t try to limit you from speeding? I think that there should be a standard safety function that will stop you from going more than 15 mph above the stated speed.

    This guy was going at least 25 mph more than the speed limit which is kind of ridiculous. I admit I speed, which is why I think a 15 mph limiter is not too harsh of a request.

    • Zandit75

      It’s a nice idea in theory, but then people would be in an uproar because you’re infringing on their personal freedoms. What would be the point of offering a car that can do 150km/h when the world’s speed limit is at 100km/h. We’d all be driving Corollas.

      • TJ

        That’s great and all, but maybe we should allow personal freedom to people when they can prove they won’t drive like maniacs.

    • Nick Hebert

      It’s for Auto-pilot really and we will get to a point where the car is driving everyone around anyhow, and probably at even higher speeds when the cars are all communicating with each other in unison. Don’t think you should force everyone driving cars to no higher than some arbitrary amount though. Maybe for repeat offenders, but good drivers with no tickets should not be constantly at the whim of a posted sign. Speed is always a factor and increases the higher you go, but a good and safe driver is the most important factor in any situation. I’m also reminded of all the ghost towns in Texas with speed traps going from 70 to 45 for no reason. So forcing your car to instantly slow down when it doesn’t always make sense? Not really the best solution.

      • 5G is very dangerous to the human body. There are serious long-term health affects with exposure.

    • Dark Rebel

      A speed limiter would not help just think of how Americans drive on highways. They drive close together like dominos. So instead of having a higher variance more people would be bundled together doing 85mph. I “speed” all the time according to American standards but I do so on the interstates not through town.

  • Mr. EP9

    I feel for the guy’s family but if you’re doing 25 over the speed limit, if not more so, this was bound to happen and the driver paid the price for it. Perhaps he could have been saved had the passerby’s been able to get him out. We may never know.

    • Dark Rebel

      Not true I grew up in Germany and on the unrestricted sections on the autobahn went as fast as I could. The limiting factor being the vehicle. Obviously there were many other factors that one needs to take into account. So just automatically saying speed does not paint an accurate picture.

  • TheBelltower

    In the US, 17 cars burn each hour. Some ignite on their own, some through violent crashes. Yet only the handful that have been Teslas get clicks.

    • LeStori

      Around 0.0949% of all car crashes in the USA result in a fire. So Car fires and crashes become “newsworthy”. Put in new tech Tesla and they become even more newsworthy. Put in a death, burnt beyond recognition, a battery pack reigniting several times after an accident, and the newsworthyness rises several fold.

  • S3XY

    Tesla fire. Click.

    • Bash

      Tesla is Evil.

  • I am sticking with ICE cars for a while.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      ICE vehicles never explode or catch on fire.

      That’s a good idea.

  • Richard Alexander

    Tesla is irresponsible.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Officers were also unable to break the glass?

    • ZYGIUS

      Ask them

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