Last year, we reported on a tragic accident in a Tesla Model S in Indianapolis. The crash led to the death of Kevin McCarthy, the owner of the Model S and a passenger during the accident since it was driven by her employee, Casey Speckman, who also died in the crash.
Even though it happened last November, the accident is coming back into the news as the police revealed that both Speckman and McCarthy were intoxicated at the time of the accident. Despite the revelation, the father of the driver is blaming the death of his daughter on Tesla – going as far as saying that “had she been in another vehicle she would have been alive”.
While the fact that the battery pack caught on fire following the accident is what prompt most media attention originally around the crash, as it has been the case with previous Tesla fires, the speed and other conditions of the accident are now coming to light and becoming the focus of the crash.
Both the police and Tesla couldn’t determine the speed at the moment of the crash, but a witness claimed that Speckman was speeding. Surveillance camera footage captured the seconds before the crash, which showed that Speckman might have tried to maneuver around a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the road.
Seconds later, the vehicle crashed into a tree and ended up against a building – pictured above.
The police report released last week highlighted the fact Casey Speckman’s blood-alcohol level tested at 0.21 percent – or almost 3 times the allowed limit. McCarthy also tested above the limit at 0.17 percent.
While the high-speed and Speckman’s intoxication are obvious potential causes for the loss of control, Jon Speckman instead blames the Model S’ acceleration in an interview with Indy Star today:
“This is a vehicle that travels from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds. She’s clearly having to swerve to miss a vehicle going the wrong way on a one-way street. If her foot should happen to hit the accelerator, it’s like a rocket ship. I don’t know why they have to make a car that does that.”
The Model S was a 2015 model year and it’s not clear what powertrain it was equipped with or what driving mode was on during the accident. It’s important to note what while some versions of the Model S can achieve 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 3.1 seconds, it needs to be in performance modes like ‘Insane’ or ‘Ludicrous’ for it to achieve that kind of acceleration.
The investigation is not yet complete, but Speckman reportedly hired a lawyer and he is still considering suing the company.
After the release of the police report last week, Tesla sent out a statement to local media reporting on the crash:
“We have been deeply saddened by this accident and have been working closely with authorities to facilitate their report. While it can be difficult to determine the precise speed of a vehicle in such a crash, the observed damage and debris field indicate a very high-speed collision.”
The Tesla owner, Kevin McCarthy, was a former FBI agent and the founder of a firm developing case management software for attorneys. The driver, Casey Speckman, was working for him as a representative.