Tesla driver killed in high-speed Florida crash and fire

A Tesla Model 3 car leaves a cargo vessel at a port in Shanghai, China, on February 22, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 26 February 2019

Tesla driver killed in high-speed Florida crash and fire

  • Witnesses: The car left the road for an unknown reason and the driver over-corrected and the car crashed
  • Fire officers said the car's battery reignited twice at a salvage yard where it was towed

DAVIE, Florida: 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 75-to-90 miles per hour (120-to-145 kilometers per hour) 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.
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.
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.


US moves troops, tanks into Lithuania in message to Russia

Updated 1 min ago

US moves troops, tanks into Lithuania in message to Russia

VILNIUS: The United States on Monday began deploying a battalion of troops and dozens of tanks to Lithuania for an unprecedented six-month rotation, a move sought by the Baltic EU and NATO state to deter neighboring Russia.
Dozens of Abrams tanks and Bradley armored vehicles arrived by railway at the army training area in Pabrade.
Lithuania’s Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said the deployment of some 500 US troops scheduled to stay through the winter proves that a US military presence on NATO’s eastern flank “is no longer a taboo.”
“First and foremost, it is a message to Lithuania and neighboring NATO states that allies are together with us,” the minister told AFP.
“And it is also a message to Russia that the US is engaged, and it is an additional deterrence element,” he added.
Ben Hodges, the former commander of US Army forces in Europe, said the US deployment was a “manifestation of American commitment to continued deterrence along NATO’s eastern flank,” at the time when US was pulling American troops out of Syria and abandoning its Kurdish allies.
“Nobody, including the Russians, should be confused by the Americans’ commitment to NATO despite what was I think a mistake of pulling out of Syria,” Hodges told AFP via telephone.
Two years ago, NATO deployed a German-led multinational battalion of around 1,000 troops to Lithuania, an EU and NATO nation of 2,8 million people.
The alliance installed similar battalions in Poland and Baltic states Estonia and Latvia as tripwires against possible Russian adventurism in the region after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The entire region had been dominated by the Soviet Union for more than 40 years after World War II.