Tesla Model 3 crash at 100 mph sends burning battery cells flying into homes
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Corvallis, Oregon residents are asked to look out for battery cells ejected from a Tesla Model 3 that came off the road at over 100 mph. Some of the cells catapulted from the high-voltage battery have already been found, including one that smashed through a window, landed on a bed and started a fire.
A battery ended its flight on someone's lap.
Police officers said the crash happened on November 17, 2020 around 10:18 p.m. Investigators say the driver lost control of the Model 3 and - somewhat ironically - broke a power pole, knocked over two trees and hit a telephone jack before it came to a stop. It left a trail of damage and rubble more than 300 feet long.
One of the triple tires hit the second floor of an apartment complex with enough force to break the water pipes embedded in the wall. According to the Corvallis Police Department, the bathroom of one apartment was destroyed and another was flooded. While this is hardly uncommon in a high-speed crash, police officers added that the punctured battery scattered cylindrical cells like confetti as the car ricocheted off the various obstacles in its path.
It sounds like none of the cell-showered residents were seriously injured.
Photos taken after the crash show that the entire passenger side of the 3 was torn down. The driver miraculously survived. He escaped on foot, was caught three blocks away and taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. After testing positive for cannabis, he was charged with DUI, hit-and-run, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and criminal calamity. However, the story didn't end when the wreck was taken to the junkyard.
According to The Drive, police officers spent nearly three hours cleaning up the scene of the accident and picking up stray battery cells, and they don't believe they've found them all. People who live in the area are warned that the battery cells can stay hot for up to 24 hours, cause burns if handled without protection, release toxic fumes, and leak harmful substances. Police say residents who find a cell should report it to the Corvallis Regional Communication Center so it can be safely collected and disposed of.
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