Stolen Tesla crashed, ripped in half, first major injury and potential fatality in a Tesla

Stolen Tesla crashed, ripped in half, first major injury and potential fatality in a Tesla

sagebrushnw | 6 juillet 2014

Haeze | July 6, 2014

"To those saying the rear of the car "rode up" the light pole, you are mistaken. If you look at the orientation of the light pole, the bottom of the pole is pointed toward the building. This means the pole sheared off, and passed over, or simply around, the rear of the car. With the skid marks in the road, it looks like he side-swiped the black Lincoln..."

The grey or black car is a Mercury Milan.

akikiki | 6 juillet 2014

OP: What do you mean "It was a good run"? People's lives where taken. You are insulting them. You are insenitive. CHANGE your comment in the opening of this thread !

tranhv68 | 7 juillet 2014


I believe you are mistaken. It was a good run refers to the fact that the flawless record of safety in the model s has come to an end. It does not refer to the joyride. Also, since Brian H. has not commented, you probably meant were not where. To the OP, thanks for the post.

akikiki | 7 juillet 2014

tranhv68, Maybe so, but its Preception of what is represents.

Brian H | 7 juillet 2014

Perception? I wonder what preception would mean if it was a word, instead of a preversion of one.
what is represents = what it represents?

Way too much guessing required to understand your posts.

J.T. | 7 juillet 2014

@Red Sage The Forum grapevine isn't any better.

Red Sage ca us | 7 juillet 2014

J.T.: Indeed. ;-)

Grinnin'.VA | 7 juillet 2014

@Jonathan D | JULY 6, 2014
georgehawley I don't know just who you think you are but that type of measured, rational response has no place on the internet!



jstrach3 | 7 juillet 2014

It's nearly impossible to know anything factual about the impact(s) other than what the results were after the accident. From the image Red Sage included in his post, the MS broke in half. Fact. Light poles were involved. Fact. White Honda was entangled at some point. Fact. The skid marks, length, and resulting damage indicate a substantial velocity from MS. Fact. There was fire from battery pack (and strewn pack debris) as seen in video. Fact.

If we're going to play the conjecture game, I have some questions and observations. The lateral distance from skid marks to black Milan car that took side/rear impact, it seems the Milan was NOT parked since A) rear curtain airbags are deployed on Milan (was being driven apparently) and B) if you place MS on skidmarks it wouldn't have reached Milan if parked (driven or moved to side). Rear damage on Milan we are assuming was caused from MS - especially since close up of passenger side front MS shows damage; so that seems logical and consistent. But I'm surprised the Milan didn't sustain much more damage considering the assumed speed of MS. (Compare damage of side/rear impact to Corolla from other unrelated accident 20 hours later and I doubt that MS was moving anywhere near the velocity of this one).

We don't know the MS was traveling at 100mph at this intersection because the officers in pursuit crashed and lost sight of MS several miles back (reportedly). But considering the length of the skid marks and damage, it's probably a good estimate. The skid marks show the MS started to not only curve towards building, but the car itself started to pivot and rotate sideways prior to light pole(s) impact. Furthermore, the skid marks to me seem like an impact occurred in the intersection - maybe with the white Honda? The skid marks show an abrupt vector change is why I say this; I could be mistaken. Then poles are impacted. Now either poles snapped MS in half or I haven't seen anyone suggest why building didn't sever car in half. I can believe an immovable building structure resulting in car separation more than light pole. But I can be completely wrong...but what was also reported was driver was somehow pinned between rear of car and building. Several articles reported driver was ejected out of windshield. It was also suggested driver came out of seat backward. Don't know what happened there. It was also reported that a front passenger was removed from MS after it came to rest and while car started to burn. IF there were two people, it's possible one had seatbelt on other didn't. It's possible this reported fact is wrong.

1) after a collision and car stops, do door handles extend automatically?
2) without FOB, how does thief open door to steal car. (I think it's safe to assume thief took FOB, which means SC and TM will address policy of securing FOBs to be sure.
3) where is data stored for car I wonder? In the large screen display or is brain in dashboard? I ask because could fire damage data storage? If data is available, I assume TM will know speed prior to building impact. But that said, I assume that data is from tire revolution or maybe motor revolution; but skid marks could mess with accuracy there. If tires locked, to make those skid marks then we will know accurate speed prior to skidding. That raises these questions A) would antilock brakes allow for lock-up? The skid marks would show chatter if anti-lock engaged so that's odd. Regardless, we can assume some forward velocity was diminished during skid. They look to be 30' to 60' feet long (maybe longer). B) if MS did rear-end/clip Milan the front airbags should have deployed I think. I've heard conflicting reports about this; in pictures I've seen it's not conclusive. The skidding probably started prior or at impact with Milan.
4) as with other fires, I assume this MS fire started after car came to rest. Especially IF there was a passenger who was removed. (But I have to assume Elon had a stressful weekend since the strewn debris was launching sparks 30' in the air and all captured on video against dark background. That's a double face-palm coupled with how much media attention this is getting...even internationally. Witnesses describing it as fireworks-like doesn't help.)
5) I wonder if TM will release accident data if recoverable? I doubt PD will provide info.

MS is very safe and cabin is structurally sound. Any car at high velocity to withstand multiple impacts, few would have faired as well...most would have been far worse. Side impacts are severe because crumple zones are front and rear. For car to break in half there was an abrupt side impact. Car was driven in wreckless manner at high speed. Blame falls on thief and I hope Honda passengers recover quickly.

Tâm | 7 juillet 2014

Fox reported there were 2 suspects in Tesla: driver's ejected & firefighters were "dragging" the passenger from the burned Tesla.

Its video said "all electric SPORT car". "It's now a fatality" but uncertain who died.

DouglasR | 7 juillet 2014

There have been conflicting reports about whether there were one or two people in the Tesla. If there were just one person in the car, and he survived such a crash, you might say it was a fluke. If two people survived, it is pretty good evidence of how safe the Model S is.

church70 | 7 juillet 2014

I thought I heard somewhere that he did die and they had to bring him back to life

So he is the first one that died in the car But What A Story for the model S One that I'll never forget

I also would like to say how terrible this looked and hope any innocent people recover fully

Sorry if I'm not up to speed On the latest news I hope everybody is still Recovering

Captain_Zap | 8 juillet 2014


Someone was that was thrown from a vehicle was resuscitated.
I think that there was some inaccuracies in early reports.
Gosh, we are finding inaccuracies in later reports too. This is not a new phenomenon with news reports.

Time may, or may not, tell. Things may be behind the legal "cone of silence".

J.T. | 8 juillet 2014

@Zap You have to watch more Get Smart. If you're behind the cone of silence then you're not under the cone of silence.

sbeggs | 8 juillet 2014

I prefer to be "in" the cone of silence.

Captain_Zap | 8 juillet 2014

It has been far too long I suppose.

Haeze | 8 juillet 2014

Thank you for the clarification. I called it a Lincoln, because a Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ have nearly an identical shape (because they are essentially the same car). I had not seen any high-res pictures when I wrote my post.

People may not have read my post entirely if they think I stated "no airbags deployed"... I clearly stated I was referring to the "front" airbags. In a collision from the side, the front airbags should not deploy. The side ones should (and they appear to have done so from the videos).

The Mercury did not get rear-ended. It got side-swiped or t-boned as shown by all the damage on the driver's side, and relatively none on the rear.

According to reports, the front half of the Tesla landed on top of the white Honda. This is supported by the fact that the top of the Honda was crushed, as shown in the video as the firefigthers cut the top off to rescue one of the occupants. This means it did not get hit in the intersection prior to the Tesla splitting.

To answer your questions:
1) Yes, in any accident that deploys the airbags, the Model S will extend the door handles, flash the Emergency Flashers, apply the Emergency Brake and honk the horn (assuming those systems were not damaged before the computer could activate them).
2) As long as the car was not locked, pressing on the handle will extend them. If it was locked, there is no way to open the doors without the fob, or a mobile device which has been authorized to unlock that vehicle.
3) The computer is located inside the dashboard. It stores all data and is in a damage-resistant casing.
4) At this point we do not have enough information to know when the fire began.
5) I doubt any data will be released until any court cases regarding this accident have been closed. Beyond that, who knows if/who will release it.

Bighorn | 8 juillet 2014

I couldn't be sure, but in the pic I linked I thought it looked like a front airbag had deployed.

AmpedRealtor | 8 juillet 2014

So technically the guy did die. Does the fact that he got better nullify the death in the first place? In order for Elon's claim to stand, does the dead person have to actually stay dead?

Red Sage ca us | 8 juillet 2014

AR: Nobody Dies Forever. ;-)

Bighorn | 8 juillet 2014

I don't think based on press reports that we can surmise his condition--he certainly wasn't declared dead by a physician. His lack of seatbelt restraint certainly mitigates the impact of his rumored death or his probable serious injuries.

An interesting coincidence though if you consider the following links:

pabeader | 8 juillet 2014

He didn't die in the Tesla. He died on the ground and was brought back.

AmpedRealtor | 8 juillet 2014

So we are not counting extra-tesular death?

pabeader | 8 juillet 2014

@amped - :P Elon can still say no one has died in a Tesla...

Remnant | 8 juillet 2014

@ AmpedRealtor | July 8, 2014

<< Does the fact that he got better nullify the death in the first place? In order for Elon's claim to stand, does the dead person have to actually stay dead? >>

Resuscitation, unlike resurrection, does not imply death, just a down state, with enough life left to be rekindled back to some semblance of normality, at least in some areas of being alive.

So, I would answer yes and yes to your questions.

petochok | 8 juillet 2014

Is it too late to say... that'll buff right out?

Grinnin'.VA | 8 juillet 2014

@pabeader | JULY 8, 2014 wrote:

He died on the ground and was brought back.

NO! He did not die.
I looked up "die" on the site. The #1 definition given iss:
"to cease to live; undergo the complete and permanent cessation of all vital functions; become dead".
Many people have been near death and then recover. With CPR many of these people live; some evidently recover to live healthy lives for years after their 'near-death' experience.

Unless someone can credibly refute this, I implore posters to this forum: Please don't keep saying "he died and ..." because he did not die.

Ron :)

J.T. | 8 juillet 2014

@Grinnin' Can we say he was only mostly dead?

DouglasR | 8 juillet 2014

Let's keep religion out of this discussion!

PBEndo | 8 juillet 2014

Even if they had died, it would have only been in half of a Tesla

Elon referred to a Tesla, not a fraction of a Tesla.

SamO | 8 juillet 2014


"Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do. Go through his clothes and look for loose change."

Cindy I II III | 8 juillet 2014

Sounds like as far as we know, there was no permanent or long-term death yet.

Tâm | 8 juillet 2014

Usually, when a heart stops, then we consider that as death.

However, there is another definition: It's all in the brain.

It doesn't matter whether the hearts beats strongly and the ventilator oxygenates the lungs well, if that person is declared brain dead then that person is considered dead.

Thus, the brain has a final say, not the heart!

david.baird | 8 juillet 2014

Apparently, the brain can still be considered dead (displaying no activity) and the body can still continue to function, so even this isn't 100% reliable.

Red Sage ca us | 9 juillet 2014

J.T.: It depends upon whether or not he was having fun storming the castle. ;-)

bent | 9 juillet 2014

"You're not dead until you're cold and dead."

Except if you survived because your metabolic processes got slowed down by the freezing cold.

Death is complicated. This is why we have qualified medical personnel pronounce it, and even they are only making an educated guess about the situation most of the time.

What we can be fairly certain of though is that if you survived, then you didn't die.

jchangyy | 9 juillet 2014

@bent...actually, you're warmed up before you're assessed for death.

ssarker | 9 juillet 2014

Actually, you're not dead until you're WARM and dead.

Jonathan D | 9 juillet 2014

And even if cold and dead, you'd still have to pry the rifle out of Charleton's hands. | 9 juillet 2014

Like the cinematic reference...a good film

Red Sage ca us | 9 juillet 2014

KevinR: He was continuing J.T.'s reference from the previous page, as was I. And yes, it is a great movie.

DouglasR | 9 juillet 2014

body | 9 juillet 2014

@Red Sage-- I see, I missed that.

danej | 9 juillet 2014

So I'm still unclear, did anyone die, in any of the vehicles?

Tâm | 9 juillet 2014


You tell me!

There's a stupid brain, but never a brain-dead!

Bighorn | 10 juillet 2014
EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 10 juillet 2014

Nice to see a little reasonable thought about EV safety fore once!

pabeader | 10 juillet 2014

I only spotted one error in the third paragraph. He says that the sheild was required, but it wasn't. Tesla does it on it's own.

vgarbutt | 10 juillet 2014


Sounds like a poem or pop lyric.
You have to pay to drive
The safest car alive.

pabeader | 10 juillet 2014

Oops, 4th paragraph.