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…