Early this morning in Baarn in the Netherlands, a 53-year old Tesla Model S driver tragically died in a crash. His Model S left the road and hit a tree at high speed. The vehicle caught on fire and the driver was reportedly dead by the time the firefighters were on the scene.
The tragic event has been making national news in the Netherlands since this morning. The fire was difficult to extinguish according to the firefighters. They reportedly didn’t know how to approach the vehicle without being electrocuted – leaving the body of the driver in the vehicle.
Tesla dispatched technicians for help.
RTV NH reports (Translated from Dutch):
“Technical Tesla employees have arrived at the scene of the accident and advise the fire department on how they can best proceed with the salvage of the body without being electrocuted.”
Update: Other Dutch media reports claim that the fire originated from the batteries falling out of the broken battery pack.
Apparently, the problem wasn’t due to a lack of knowledge on how to handle a crashed electric vehicle, but because of the state of the wreckage. Ronald Boer, a spokesman for the firefighters, said:
“If the car was on four wheels, the fire brigade normally has no difficulty to turn off the batteries. However, this car is completely destroyed, hampering the recovery. In this situation, you never know what can happen.”
Some of the battery modules reportedly fell out of the battery pack after the crash and subsequent fire.
Here are some pictures of the aftermath:
Some news outlets are linking the accident to Tesla’s Autopilot system, but without any confirmation that the system was actually in use during the fatal crash. Nonetheless, Tesla said that it launched an investigation into the accident:
“Tesla launched a full investigation. Once the outcome is known, Tesla will share with the public.”
The Traffic Analysis (VOA) Police are also reportedly investigating the crash.