On July 4, someone reportedly stole a Tesla Model S from a Tesla store in Los Angeles and, after driving it at speeds over 100 miles per hour, crashed into a light pole, splitting the car in two, causing a fire and severely damaging other cars and injuring their occupants. The fact that the driver survived the fiery wreck was surprising to experts, but now we have news that the driver has passed away. The driver, 26-year-old Joshua Michael Flot of Inglewood, CA, actually passed away July 7 but the news and his identity were not announced until today so the police could notify his family. As far as we know, this is the first death involving a driver or passenger in a Tesla Model S.

According to safety experts Bloomberg interviewed, the crash and the fire should have killed Flot immediately. "It looked like a non-survivable crash," said Casey Grant of the National Fire Protection Association. Bloomberg has more on how dangerous a steel pole crash can be, here.

Indeed, the pictures are astonishing, with the Model S completely destroyed and one half of the car wedged into a nearby building. Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule issued a statement that said, "We are saddened by the harm that resulted from the July 4 theft and crash. We are assisting the authorities as needed as they continue their investigations."

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