Fatal accidents involving the Tesla Model S are fortunately rare, thanks to its several segment-leading safety features, but tragic accidents do happen. The latest happened today when a Model S was rear-ended at high-speed by a large SUV on the 405 Freeway leaving a
7-year-old 10-year-old girl dead and a 13-year-old girl in critical condition.
The girls’ father, the driver of the Tesla, has been taken to the hospital, but his life is reportedly not in danger.
The local news reported that the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe that rear-ended the Tesla is suspected of drunk driving:
“CHP Officer Tom Joy said the DUI suspect, who was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe, was in the fast lane when he swerved into one of two carpool lanes, crashing into the Tesla carrying the father and his daughters. The Tesla then crashed into a Honda, but no one in that car was hurt, Joy said.”
Several news reports state that the young girls were in the “backseat” without specifying if they are talking about the actual backseat or the rear-facing seats, which are popular with kids.
Update: Another report states that the girls had to be extracted through the front door – meaning it’s unlikely that they were in the rear-facing seats:
“Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority said the Tesla was so damaged that firefighters had to extract the injured girls through the front door on the driver’s side.”
Pictures of the aftermath show that the trunk of the Model S was completely destroyed (pictures via OC Register):
The rear of the Model S is actually one of the strongest parts of the vehicle’s structure, but the height of the Chevrolet Tahoe had probably a strong role in pushing the force of the impact so deep in the passenger compartment.
The driver of the Tahoe was arrested on the scene and taken to an area hospital for evaluation.
This tragic accident adds to a handful of other accidents resulting in casualties in a Tesla Model S, including some freak accidents like when an 85-year-old man drowned after crashing his Tesla Model S through a brick wall and into a swimming pool or when a car thief died after the Model S he was driving split in two following a collision with a post during a police chase at over 100 mph.