Tesla driver killed in high-speed Florida crash and fire

<i>Image: Sanela Sabovic</i>
<i>Image: Sanela Sabovic</i>
Sanela Sabovic

The driver of a Tesla Model S was killed when his car crashed near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and erupted in flames.

Witnesses told police in Davie, Florida, that the car was traveling 120-to-145km/h on Sunday afternoon when it left the road for an unknown reason. The driver over-corrected and the car slid across three lanes and into some trees in the median.

Still under investigation

A police officer arrived almost immediately after the crash but wasn't able to rescue the driver before the car was engulfed in flames. Officers identified the driver as Omar Awan. The crash remains under investigation.

READ: Man dies after Tesla crashes into San Francisco area pond

Tesla said in a statement that it was deeply saddened by the crash and is cooperating with police.

"We understand that speed is being investigated as a factor in this crash, and know that high speed collisions can result in a fire in any type of car, not just electric vehicles," the company said.

The Tesla's battery reignited twice on Monday morning at a salvage yard where it was towed, Davie Fire Marshal Robert Taylor said.

Tesla said in a statement that it posts language on its website for first responders saying that fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish and that they should consider letting the battery burn while protecting exposures to buildings.

Last year the National Transportation Safety Board opened investigations into two Tesla fires in California, one in West Hollywood and the other near Mountain View.

A spokesman for the NTSB said Monday that it is not investigating the Davie crash.

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