A Dutchman was killed Wednesday when his Tesla Model S smashed into a tree, and it took firefighters several hours to remove his body for fear of electrocution.
Tesla Motors said it was “working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident.” A spokeswoman told reporters the company has yet to determine whether the car was using the “autopilot” feature at the time of the crash.
Fire department spokesman Ronald Boer said Netherlands is well equipped to deal with electric vehicle wrecks. Firefighters were not certain of the severity of the wreck, so they waited several hours before pulling the man’s body from the wreckage. The wait time was due in large part to the car’s broken battery.
Newspaper De Telegraaf reported the car’s battery was so badly damaged that it caught fire. Part of the battery was wedged inside the car prompting the rescue crew to fear electrocution.
“We know a lot about electric cars, but there are always going to be cases where something unexpected happens,” Boer said. “There are going to be educational moments.”
Tesla managed to endure a public relations nightmare in June after an Ohio man was killed driving his Model S.
Tesla owner Joshua Brown was killed in June after his vehicle, a Model S, caromed into a tractor-trailer on a highway. Eyewitness reports indicate Brown was watching a “Harry Potter” movie at the time of the accident.
Tesla was forced to contend with allegations it chose to hide news of the wreck in an effort to avoid a public relations meltdown.
Tesla said it “immediately” notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the accident and death of Joshua Brown, the company said in a statement issued June 30.
Less than two weeks after Brown died, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk sold more than $2 billion of Tesla stock in a public offering at a price of $215 per share—the electric vehicle company did all of this without notifying its shareholders or the public about the wreck.
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