1 dead after Tesla crashes into tree, bursts into flames in Davie

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was killed after a Tesla sedan hit a tree and subsequently burst into flames in Davie.

Davie Police and Fire Rescue crews were called to a vehicle fire along the 1200 block of South Flamingo Road around 4:30 p.m., Sunday.

“It’s a single-vehicle crash, and it veered to the right and then slid through three lanes of traffic onto the median and hit several trees,” Davie Police Detective Viviana Gallinal said. “An officer was on scene right away and attempted to break the window but couldn’t, and the vehicle basically caught fire really fast, and they were unable to get the subject out.”

Video sent to 7News showed the flames shooting out of the Tesla as bystanders helplessly observed.

Officials said when they arrived, they found one victim dead on scene.

“We do believe that speed was a factor, but we’re not sure how fast he was going. It’s still under investigation,” Gallinal said.

According to officials, the driver, identified as Omar Awan, left the road for an unknown reason, over-corrected and lost control of the car.

Authorities believe the car may have been going between 75 to 90 miles per hour.

Tesla released a statement to 7News regarding the crash.

“We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy. We have reached out to the local authorities to offer our cooperation. 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.”

While the 2016 Tesla Model S was at the tow yard, it caught fire once again overnight from a ruptured battery.

Last year, two teenagers weeks away from graduation were killed when the Tesla they were driving burst into flames after crashing in Fort Lauderdale.

Officials believe speed was a factor in that crash.

In both crashes, the electric cars caught fire hours after the deadly wrecks.

Shortly after the 2018 Fort Lauderdale crash, 7News spoke to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Steve Gollan about the challenges of an electric car fire.

“It’s been my experience that it is a much hotter fire,” Gollan said. “There’s a lot more energy there.”

The energy mainly comes from the car’s lithium-ion battery.

Crews have to be careful when cutting into electric cars to rescue someone. They have special diagrams that show a car’s “safe zone,” where it is safe to cut into the car’s body.

Police temporarily blocked off all southbound lanes at Southwest 20th Street and Flamingo Road.

7News reached out to the National Traffic Safety Board and said they are not investigating Sunday afternoon’s crash.

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