Tesla breaks in half, catches fire after plunging off freeway bridge

One man died, and another was injured, after the driver of a Tesla lost control of his vehicle, smashed through a guardrail, and plunged 6.5 meters off a bridge in Yunlin County, yesterday, June 6.

broken fence and guardrail
Picture credit: Yunlin County Fire Department.

Yunlin County Fire Department received reports of an accident in the southbound lanes of Highway 1 in Huwei Township at 9:12 pm. Firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident to find the white tesla broken into two pieces, with the front section on fire.

Two men had managed to escape from the vehicle, including the driver, named Chen, who was unhurt, and a passenger who was slightly injured. Another man, named Tsai, was found tangled in a barbed wire fence after being thrown from the vehicle. Tsai had lost vital signs, and was rushed to hospital, but was later declared dead.

Chen was tested and found to be not affected by alcohol. Chen said that he was not using the autonomous driving function at the time, and had lost control of the car while changing lanes.

The detailed cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Huwei Township Fire Station Captain Lee Wei-shun said that Lithium-ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish. After bringing the fire under control, the smoldering remains of the Tesla were hoisted into a makeshift pond formed from portable baffles erected by the fire department. It was not until 1:00 am that it was determined that there was no possibility that the batteries would re-ignite.

rear section of vehicle after car broke in half
Rear section of car. Picture credit: Yunlin County Fire Department.
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