NewsLocal News / November 3, 2016

Fatal Fiery Crash Of Tesla Under Investigation

IFD Special Operations Chief Kevin Jones says car fires often delay rescues in crashes -- not just in hybrid or electric vehicle crashes. IFD, Tesla, Lithium Ion Batteries, Tesla S2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
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Fatal Fiery Crash Of Tesla Under Investigation

IFD Special Operations Chief Kevin Jones

Leigh DeNoon

INDIANAPOLIS -- Intense flames and what looked like Roman candle fireworks greeted Indianapolis firefighters as they rolled up on a fatal Tesla car crash Wednesday night. The crash claimed the lives of an attorney and former FBI agent.

Twenty-seven-year-old attorney Casey Speckman was driving the Tesla-S just after 1 a.m. when, for some reason, she lost control, hit a tree and parking garage at 16th and Illinois streets. Burning debris flew into the street and fire consumed the vehicle. Speckman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 44-year-old passenger, Kevin McCarthy, CEO of a software management company, died later at the hospital.

IFD Special Operations Chief Kevin Jones says the fire delayed McCarthy’s rescue, “They’re lithium ion batteries in the Tesla," he says, "and our response measures are to apply copious amounts of water to extinguish that fire before we can move to the rescue effort. And that was the biggest challenge that our crews faced was extinguishing the fire so that they could then move towards the rescue efforts."

Jones emphasized that fires after crashes are not unusual and they’re not just a problem with hybrid or electric vehicles. 

He says IFD trains firefighters on how to make rescues from hybrid and electric vehicles. And he says they reached out to Tesla after this crash.

“They’ve been very helpful. Their big thing was just making sure the firefighters and the responders understand – what we’ve taught our people and what we’ve talked about today is know your emergency response guides, and then if you are presented with a fire - copious amounts of water to put the fire out,” Jones says.



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