Tesla Crash
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Hollywood street is closed during an investigation after a car crash involving a Tesla left half the remains wedged between two walls at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue, in West Hollywood, Calif., Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities said several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Hollywood street is closed during an investigation after a car crash involving a Tesla, center, in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies photograph the remains of a car crash involving a Tesla, in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies photograph the remains of a car crash involving a Tesla, center, in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Hollywood street is closed during an investigation after a car crash involving a Tesla, left with half the remains wedged between two walls at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue, in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy walks past half the remains of a Tesla that wedged between two walls at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy photographs the remains of a Tesla in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy walks past half the remains of a Tesla that wedged between two walls at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Tesla Crash
  • A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy photographs the remains of a Tesla in West Hollywood, Calif. on Friday, July 4, 2014. Authorities say several people were injured after a high-speed chase involving what was reported as a stolen Tesla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 94 Comments
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      Geez. I was trying to be realistic. Okay. No one has been killed in a Tesla that being driven legally. Better? I even went out of my way to say that statistically we can't say that no one has been killed in a Tesla. So I was not trying to deny the death. Statistically it happened even though the guy was a thief not wearing his seatbelt. The same statistic would happen with any car. It would count as a fatality. You're picking nits, Rotation. You are correct however that I wrote the post improperly. And since you're doing that, I never saw where you corrected your comment on the post where you hammered me but you hadn't read my post properly. I am admitting my error here.
      TJB
      • 8 Months Ago
      Looks like that wheel that came off may have a little curb rash on it.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      Scene: http://i.imgur.com/aMsXC03.png
      purrpullberra
      • 8 Months Ago
      It must be stated that without any doubt this idiot DID NOT DIE IN A TESLA!! He died well outside of it... after being thrown clear due to the severity of the idiots crash. This is just one more way in which the Tesla ModelS remains 100% death-free. If he was a real Tesla driver he would've been belted in. He would've stayed in the car. He would've been alive IN A TESLA. Instead he DIED WELL OUTSIDE A TESLA he crashed. If you can't understand the difference and the implications on auto safety then you're a freakin moron. Too many to name here!
      kinasi
      • 8 Months Ago
      They need to review the safety rating on this car. When fires happen, those fires last way too long. The boulevard was shut down for hours. And the car split in half like a donut.
        slackwarerobert
        • 8 Months Ago
        @kinasi
        Sounded like a cream filled donut and the stuffing went out the hole in the front...... I hope they have camera footage of this, that would be funny. Which came first the crushed chest from the wheel, or the new face from the window? burned from fire, or burned from battery acid?
        Baldur Norddahl
        • 8 Months Ago
        @kinasi
        That means it burns slow. That is preferable to burning violently. Nobody has yet been hurt by fire in a Tesla car. It appears that you have minutes to get out before the fire catches on for real, and several of the burned cars had no damage inside. I witnessed a gasoline car burning. The heat was unbelievable. Very violent fire, impossible to survive even being near the car.
        jphyundai
        • 8 Months Ago
        @kinasi
        You are absolutely correct. I hope that a crashing Tesla does not burn my neighborhood!
          • 8 Months Ago
          @jphyundai
          You know know ev driver cares what you have to say right? Reason is you have very little or likely no experience of driving an ev. EV drivers have years and years of driving an ice vehicle to compare to their ev car. Do you think anything you say will want to make them trade their ev in for an ice car? Heck no... I would write more but I can't stop laughing at the thought!
          thecommentator2013
          • 8 Months Ago
          @jphyundai
          I won't trade my EREV. Not ever. Unless for another EREV or EV. Period.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let me guess, his family will sue Tesla because a car he stole and crashed/burned was responsible for his death. The lawyers will convince them that it was the automaker's fault . . .
        Sonya
        • 8 Months Ago
        I am sure! There are attorneys on every street corner, waiting to take a case, to make blood $. I am so sad that this guy died, but talk about "instant karma"! Again, leave the GOOD, people alone!
      slackwarerobert
      • 8 Months Ago
      OR the greater SPEED. E=MC2. 100 slowing to 80 wins over 0 accelerating to 50. or 30 southbound to 30 northbound. This is why you NEVER wear a seat belt, they make you think you are safe so you just sit there and get hit. It can be proven mathematically, sadly only crazy people are allowed not to wear them, If you can prove they are unsafe they don't care, but if you are nuts you get a waiver.
      donbanf
      • 8 Months Ago
      (Sigh) I'm sure he's gone to such a nice place now
        slackwarerobert
        • 8 Months Ago
        @donbanf
        hopefully behind one of those smoking diesels. Why is no one pointing out obamacare didn't give him glasses so he can SEE the big shiny light on a pole?
      Weapon
      • 8 Months Ago
      People really need to learn the importance of WEARING A SEATBELT!
        slackwarerobert
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Weapon
        No thanks, I'll take NOT wearing them and not needing them over wearing them and needing to fix the car because it is hit. Raise the speed limit to 120 so I can stay AHEAD of the drivers so can't be hit. Then I will wear it. I have seen way to many dead bodies cut wide open by seat belts.
          Terry Actill
          • 8 Months Ago
          @slackwarerobert
          You've seen nothing except your mother's hairy legs coming down the basement steps with food for you.
        Actionable Mango
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Weapon
        People really need to learn to not steal cars.
          Harry
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          AM, a person stupid enough to do the latter is probably going to be too simple to do the former.
          Weapon
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          One does not deter the other.
        purrpullberra
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Weapon
        I'm super glad he wasn't wearing one. And it proves he isn't actually a Tesla driver but just a thief.
          Rotation
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          purrpullberra: That's ridiculous. Tesla drivers are normal people like other drivers. Why are you attributing any kind of special characteristic to a group of money merely by having the money and interest in buying an expensive car? That's just xenophobia. You feel a kinship with a group, so you attribute positive attributes to them that you don't to the general population. But there is no reason at all to do so. There is no reason to think that Tesla owners or derivers put on their seatbelts at any different rate than the general population (or a cohort group more accurately). And this guy, again, was a Tesla driver. He was driving a Tesla. He was not an Tesla owner of course.
          jphyundai
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Tesla drivers who wear seatbelts risk being burned to death while stuck in the car. Nothing like a white hot chunk of battery in your lap.
          purrpullberra
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Tesla owners wear seatbelts, Rotation. Any Tesla driver puts on their seatbelt. Only a thief wouldn't. We are on opposing sides of the same coin here. Me and Grendal.... Had a tough day? Forget about it and be happy some good things happened today
          Rotation
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          The fact that he stole the car from a Tesla service bay is what proves he was a thief, not some stereotyping on your part about Tesla owners. And btw, he was a Tesla driver. He was driving a Tesla.
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      The post where you accused me of having no perspective because I was condemning gas cars. I asked you to reread the post because I done no such thing. Maybe you never went back to the comments in that article to respond. But back to this article and your current comment I have said in lots of comments that cars are inherently dangerous. They are very likely the most dangerous thing a person interacts with on a daily basis. As for the Model S, I think at this point we can say that it lives up to its 5 star rating and is a pretty safe car to drive. It is impossible to be safe in every situation since randomness and the accident itself influences the outcome. It is possible that a 15 MPH accident even in a Model S could kill someone if they are hit at exactly the wrong angle at the wrong time. How you drive a car has a greater impact on safety than anything else. This theft and accident are excellent examples of that. This guys steals a car and drives it dangerously without a seatbelt and so it is no surprise that he eventually died. There are a few Tesla commenters that are saying that this death doesn't count because the guy stole the car. I was commenting that according to statistics it doesn't matter that the guy stole the car it counts as a fatality. So we're sort of on the same page on this. Some people will erroneously believe the car is perfectly safe and others will erroneously believe the car is dangerous and a fire hazard. Somewhere in between is where reality lies. Cars are still very dangerous machines that most of us interact with.
      goodoldgorr
      • 8 Months Ago
      Maybe in the future we will have autonomous cars and a thing like that will not happen and my dodge neon 5 speeds will be obsolete a thing I was not aware when I bought it.
        Dave D
        • 8 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        gorr, bite your tongue!!! Our manuals will NEVER be obsolete, they're too much fun to drive!!! :)
          DarylMc
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Cmon DaveD Gorr drives a Neon and I have the cheapest ever Volkswagen. Electric drive with no gears to change is the nirvana:)
      Levine Levine
      • 8 Months Ago
      The wages of sin is death.
        mycommentemail
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Yeah? I've seen a LOT of people "sinning" who are still alive. More like: Sometimes good people die. Sometimes bad people die. It's a crapshoot really.
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