Tesla Begins Investigation Of Fatal Model S Crash In The Netherlands – Car Was Going 96 MPH


Tesla crash 2.1

Tesla Model S Crash on the Hilversumsestraatweg between Baarn and Hilversum, Netherlands

Tragically, a 53-year-old Netherland’s man lost his life as his Tesla Model S collided with a tree. The high speed impact caused the car to start on fire and the driver was deceased prior to the arrival of emergency teams. There are no details regarding the cause of the crash.

Parts Of The Vehicle Litter The Roadway A Great Distance From The Car

Parts Of The Vehicle Litter The Roadway A Great Distance From The Car

Firefighters experienced difficulty putting the fire out. There was fear that the vehicle may have been electrified, due to the separation of the battery pack from the car. Battery cells were reportedly ejected from the battery pack upon impact.

Reportedly, the initial fire was caused by the battery parts that had fallen out of the Model S. Ronald Boer, speaking on behalf of the team of firefighters, explained that the car was completely destroyed, and that there was no way to safely turn off the batteries. For this reason, the body of the man could not be recovered:

A news report from the Netherlands noted that:

“The man’s body still has not recovered. This is because the battery that powers the electric Tesla, partially thrown from the car when it crashed into the tree. Another part of the battery is still in the car and makes it possible for the car under voltage condition … 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.” (Translated from Dutch)

The representative from the fire department made it clear that usually there is no problem handling electric vehicle crashes. Had the vehicle been upright and accessible, the team should have been able to safely manage the situation.

Unfortunately, the wider media immediately began generating rumors that Tesla had yet another Autopilot crash on its hands, but thankfully, Tesla has already issued a statement today that denies Autopilot was in use at the time of the wreck, and states that the car was travelling in excess of 96 MPH when the crash occurred.

Here’s the statement from Tesla:

“We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation. Thus far, we can confirm from the car’s logs that Autopilot was not engaged at any time during the drive cycle and that, consistent with the damage that was observed after the vehicle struck the tree, the vehicle was being driven at more than 155 kph (96 MPH).”

Also, questions are arising (again, generally from those sources originally speculating on the use of AutoPilot) about why Tesla’s safety features didn’t help impede the terrible incident. Tesla, along with the Netherland’s Traffic division, has promptly initiated an investigation. A Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider:

“Technical personnel are on the scene, and we are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation. We are deeply saddened to hear that this accident involved a fatality. We will share our findings as soon as possible following the investigation.”

Source: AD.NLGooieneemlander.nlBusiness Insider, Hat tip to Olaf!

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla

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22 Comments on "Tesla Begins Investigation Of Fatal Model S Crash In The Netherlands – Car Was Going 96 MPH"

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“Questions are arising why teslas safety fetures did not impeed the axident”

What safety feature do they expect to ceep the car from sliding off the road if say taking a to tight turn at 150 km/h?

Apparently these are people who are scientifically illiterate, and don’t understand relatively simple concepts like kinetic energy increasing as the square of the speed.

Or perhaps it’s more basic, and they don’t understand that the faster a car goes, the harder it is to turn it or stop it… and that even a fully autonomous car (which the Model S isn’t) is subject to the same laws of physics.

Yeah, it would be nice if people understood physics better.

For example, with the very large battery, a Tesla Model S is much heavier than a typical ICE car. All that momentum makes it harder to turn such that people should not expect it to maneuver like a sports car.

I guess you don’t understand physics either. All that mass is also weight and given proper sized tires it proportionally increases the grip.

What matters is the ratio of grip to mass and with a Tesla it is quite high. It can pull about 0.9 g of lateral force.

A proper sports car could do better, but not that much better. People crash in sports cars all the time. The driver in this case was simply handling the car outside the envelope of his abilities.

Mature trees won’t move a bit, have no mercy… like a bunker wall. I lost a friend this way.

96 mph impact into a tree…..wow. No one in any vehicle is surviving that…unless they were driving a tank.

Pretty gruesome they haven’t recovered the body yet.

Do we have to call it an accident when somthing’s really bound to happen? I mean, speeding at a hundred mph through a forest MAYBE with deer crossing …
You can make machines perfect for that kind of velocity – humans biological capabilities … never!

When you are speeding in a vehicle, you are willing to take that risk of crashing. You give part of control out of your hands even if you are still holding the steering wheel. Every driver must know that. They went through school. Driving school.

I wonder if Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Opel/Ford etc. have ever done an on-site examination when one of their products was pulverised by some hot shot who couldn’t handle the horse power. Now, with Tesla at higher price levels and its tempting acceleration power there will be casualties of drivers once in a while who are basically too old for this shit. It’s so sad on different levels…

Those Tesla Dudes gotta be fast anough to delete or fake relevant log files


Plenty of people can handle high speeds at a measly 53. Paul Newman was racing till he was 81. I was very lucky to see him many times at Lime Rock. He was a very good driver with an excellent safety record. If he had a any it was not his age while racing but the age he started at (about 35). As with musicians, it’s better to start early in racing.

BTW, plenty of young guys lose their life in their 20’s because they don’t know what they are doing.

This guy most likely didn’t know what he was doing (assuming there was no catastrophic failure on the car’s part). He just happened to be 53.

Tesla’s accident investigation team is a direct product of Mercedes Benz’s early investment and involvement in Tesla. Mercedes has had a special accident investigation team for decades, who have even been know to arrive before first responders.

This is all part of a dedication to constantly improving safety by learning from actual accidents, and Tesla is following MB’s lead. Here is how MB describes their program:

“Accident Investigation
Collecting the information that fuels innovation.

At Mercedes-Benz, we know from experience that just a few pieces of data could someday mean the difference between a collision and just another close call. And that’s exactly why we created the Mercedes-Benz Accident Investigation team, a special unit in Stuttgart dedicated to gathering and evaluating information that has the potential to save lives across the world.”


Sadly, this is yet another Rorschach Test, where normal people who see Tesla as no different than MB when they investigate accidents see this as a normal thing. And haters with an anti-Tesla fixation will see something bad.

This is not about “old”. This is about being an idiot.

The crash could have been much worse. There are bike/jogging paths that run parallel to each side of that road. The out of control Tesla crossed one of those bike/jogging paths before finally coming to stop. Luckily, at that predawn hour there were no joggers or bicyclists on that part of the path.

Unless you make the car speed-limited on two-lane roads somehow, it doesn’t seem like there was a way to prevent this. The guy was just being stupid. Thankfully he didn’t take anybody else with him.

If it were any other car company, it wouldn’t even be a story. People are just waiting and wanting Tesla to make a mistake. Or should I say the oil companies and other car companies are just wanting bad press for Tesla.

Hear, hear.

And the Tesla stock shorters, too.

You’re telling me that if this was a Toyota Mirai it wouldn’t even be a story?

How many people got kill yesterday in BMW/Mercedes/Audi/Lexus in the world? How many due mechanical problems? No one cares only for Tesla. I wonder how the people and media waiting for that to happen will benefit the world.

My point exactly. And by the way sven, can a Mirai even get to 96 mph? 😉 Maybe they should do a test of all cars slamming into a tree at that speed and see what happens.

And the only reason it is a story is because of the fire. But at 96 MPH straight into a stationary object, the fire is pretty much irrelevant. You can’t expect the fire suppression systems to work properly with that kind of catastrophic damage.

Yeah, you can’t expect *anything* to work at that impact speed. The car is actually recognizable, which is amazing enough.

This one just gets filed under Darwins natural selection. Move on, nothing to see here.

“And the trees were all kept equal by hatchet axe and saw”