Winter Accident In Winnipeg Leaves Tesla Model S Owner Dead

DEC 22 2015 BY JAY COLE 40

Some unfortunate news from Canada on the first day of winter.

A Tesla Model S owner, who was in an accident with a dump truck in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) at intersection Monday night, has died.

A photo from the accident (which we are not publishing in consideration of family and friends, as it shows the car’s license plate) shows heavy damage to the front end of the Tesla.

Winnipeg Police Report On Accident Monday

Winnipeg Police Report On Accident Monday

Police state that a 67-year-old man was driving west on Wellington Avenue when his vehicle collided with a dump truck that was travelling north on Century Street around 8:30 p.m.

The driver was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died of his injuries.  We believe this is the first Tesla owner to have perished in a Model S as a result of a normalized/expected on-road occurrence.

The accident is still under investigation, and persons with information on the crash are asked to contact investigators at (204) 986-6271.

Our condolences to the driver’s family and friends.

Hat tip to BillR

Categories: Tesla


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40 Comments on "Winter Accident In Winnipeg Leaves Tesla Model S Owner Dead"

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Very unfortunate and sad that a fellow Winnipeg resident and Model S owner could have met such an untimely outcome. No doubt influenced from the recent bad weather we’ve been experiencing. I know the intersection the report speaks of and it can under challenging conditions, be very dangerous even when behind the wheel of our relatively surefooted Model S’s.

My prayers and sympathies go out to the family. As if this wasn’t bad enough, it’s just days till Christmas. This is a reminder to appreciate our loved ones and take nothing for granted. Even a tank-like Tesla cannot guard against death 100% of the time.

A dump truck. Ouch. 🙁

Wow … the passenger compartment looks totally crushed. Looks more like a side impact than a frontal impact. I can recognize rear and front, but mid-section is not recognizable. 🙁

Re: “shows heavy damage to the front end of the Tesla”

There’s bound to be a first, yet it’s still sad to see it actually happen. But homo-economicus in me wonders how it happened, and can this be prevented in the future with self driving mode?

If both the dump truck and the model S had self driving/accident avoidance features then yes.

The reason I finally got the pull the trigger on a Leaf in the summer of 2014 was the dump truck that did this:

Fortunately my Subaru took most of the impact rather than me. I saw that truck hydro plane towards me in the rear view mirror. Pretty much thought I was done.
My thought to the family.

I’m glad you survived, hopefully unscathed and without any lingering medical problems. Seeing your pic makes me think that people have a false sense of security when they place their kids in the rear-facing seats of a Model S, or the third row of a CUV. They might be fine if rear ended by a passenger car, but there are plenty of very heavy, high-riding commercial trucks that will override a passenger vehicle’s bumper, and the rear-facing seats and third-row seats are in the crumple zone.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Tesla driver.

WOW! That looks like a serious impact. Glad you made it out okay.

Yep, had some soft tissue damage from having my hands on the steering wheel as the front of the car got spun into the concrete guard rail. Other than that, pretty much walked away.

Truly a sad situation…I thought that car would have held out better than it did…With the high ratings & all…

So sad. My thoughts are with the family.

Am I seeing things or are there two Model S’ in this photograph? Curious.

The caption says that it is a file photo, and the article says IEVs did not publish the actual crash scene photo out of respect for the family and friends of the deceased.

yes, there is an imbeded link to the original CBC source showing the Model S

Awww, how sad. Hopefully Tesla can gain data from this terrible event to improve safrey. The mass of the dump truck was most likley the deciding factor though. So bummed.

From the picture that Kubel posted below (if it is still up), it looks like the weight of the vehicle and the height of the bumper were likely the greatest factors.

The bumper appears to be high enough that it went right over the top of the frame and battery pack. In every car the frame is part of the collision protection for t-bone accidents. And even with the higher side-door impact standards that are in place now, the idea of stopping a loaded truck with a bumper that high with side-impact protection is a physics improbability.

I can’t see colored lights on the truck either. If it didn’t have flashing colored lights on it, that changes the right-of-way obligations.

In the US states that I’m familiar with, that means the truck was required to stop at red lights, and doesn’t have the right-of-way the same as if it were a snow plow operating with flashing lights.

I know this might seem cruel to say but I hope Tesla comes and gets the car so they can figure out how to make their cars safer. That way something positive comes out of this tragedy.

FYI — Mercedes does this in Germany all the time. They send people to collect data from the scene of the accident. The Mercedes-Benz Accident Investigation team sometimes even arrive before the first responders arrive.

“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.

From calculating impact speed to collision angles, the exhaustive data collected at the scene by the Accident Investigation team not only continues to inform our ongoing improvement of existing safety features, but also has led to the development of groundbreaking Mercedes-Benz technology such as ATTENTION ASSIST and DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE® Brake. The fact is, the more we know about what happened, the better chance we have of inventing a way to help keep it from happening again. It’s just one of the ways we’re working in Germany to engineer a safer future for all drivers worldwide. “

You are very correct that the Model S has an achillies heel and Tesla has a oportunity to learn from this tragedy – however extreme the circumstances – and address it somehow.

Delta — I definitely did not say that the Model S has an achillies heel, and neither did Gregory. There are always opportunities to improve safety, even at companies like Mercedes with great safety records.

But that is not to imply that there is any “achillies heel” situation going on here. Or maybe you don’t understand what the term “achillies heel” implies?

What do you think Achillies heel means?

An article about a tragedy like this is no place for an argument. However, I’d like to point out that unless you literally build a car like a tank (no offense to Volvo), it’s not going to be immune from being crushed by a collision with a much larger and much heavier vehicle.

This isn’t evidence of an “Achilles’ heel”, it’s evidence of what happens when two large heavy objects collide at relatively high speed. Literally any car could be built to be safer. But trying to build a car which could survive this type of crash would make it so expensive that no one would buy it, and so heavy that no one would want to drive it.


There is a balance between weight, fuel economy, and RELATIVE safety. Even if Tesla did build a literal tank, there would be some way to destroy it.

Even a tank can be destroyed. Happens all the time. Probably more often than Teslas being destroyed.

A car built like a tank would probably increase the likelihood of killing drivers and passengers of the other cars involved in an accident with the tank-like car. The tank-like car will be at fault in some of those accidents, while the deceased occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accident would be innocent victims.

“An article about a tragedy like this is no place for an argument.”

I hate emotionalism. Especially on the Internet. Just wanted to get that off my chest. 😉

Be it those who are of faith believe this fellow EVer is in a much better place right now, and surely many deep condolences from all of us who darken the door here at InsideEVs, and many prayers for family, friends and associates.

If any positives can be delved from this story, it just might be that the Model S did not crash due to using Autopilot. Another subject to ponder on the optimistic side is this Model S did not have an issue with fire, even though the dump truck really ripped apart the bodywork on this car. Was this an AWD Tesla, and if not, would that have made a difference in these more-dangerous-than-average driving conditions due to weather?

In all – horrible result no matter the circumstances. Tesla surely will examine the car to see what, if anything they can learn from this tragic event.

That is 4th death in a Tesla Model S now?

I guess it comes with sales volume…

I think, as the article states, that it’s the first under normal circumstances (not stolen, not a suicide attempt, etc.).

I admit to being somewhat bemused that being T-boned by a dump truck is considered by the police to be “a normalized/expected on-road occurrence”. I rather suspect that nobody who actually expected that to happen to them would be out on the roads! If they expected something like that, they’d stay home. But I suppose it’s not nearly as unusual as driving off a cliff at highway speed and crashing into a canyon below.

If you read the article, that comment is not part of the Police release, rather part of the article.

“not a suicide attempt, etc.).”

Oh wait, now Tesla owners are suicidal? =)

I guess that price tag would shock you into doing that.

Condolences to the family.

I imagine a fleet Tesla engineers descending upon the impound yard, examining the vehicle, trying to find an area that can be modified to gain that few percent that could save future vehicles and owners from a similar fate.

This is where collision avoidance and self-driving features would help. Had these vehicles communicated with each other, this probably wouldn’t have happened.

Well, you have a radius of awareness to consider, as well as relative speeds and driving conditions. Without sufficient traction, nothing can save you.

A wise man once told me that Cf (coefficient of friction) can either save your life or kill you.

A lot of those Tesla owners install Cameras. I wonder if that would help in the investigation? Looks like someone didn’t stop for the red light. Sad, but the camera would tell the whole story. I notice a LOT of Model S accidents. The body shop near my home has about a dozen Totaled Teslas’. All with front end damage. I’m thinking the 17″ flat screen can cause a lot of distractions. Hope that is not the case here.

@Joe, there is no evidence that the screen is a distraction. It’s one of the most intuitive auto center stack interfaces, if not THE MOST.

And you notice the Teslas because they are stand out. You haven’t noticed the Altimas for the reason that they AREN’T stand-out.