Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation Technology

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One 443

Posted by Soulskill
from the marketed-as-a-thief-termination-feature dept.
mrspoonsi sends this news from The Verge: Elon Musk can no longer say that no one's ever died in a Tesla automobile crash. But few people will be pointing fingers at the electric car maker for this senseless tragedy. Earlier this month, 26-year-old Joshua Slot managed to successfully ride off with a Model S he'd stolen from a Tesla service center in Los Angeles, but police quickly spotted the luxury vehicle and gave chase. According to Park Labrea News, the high-speed pursuit was eventually called off after officers were involved in a fender bender of their own, leaving the police department strained for resources and without any feasible way of catching up to Slot. Reports claim he was traveling at speeds of "nearly 100 mph," but losing the police tail apparently didn't convince Slot to hit the brakes. Instead he sped on, eventually colliding with three other vehicles and a pair of street poles. The final impact was severe enough to "split the Tesla in half" and eject Slot from the car's remains. The Tesla's front section wound up in the middle of the road and caught fire. Its rear portion flew through the air with such force that it slammed into the side of a local Jewish community center and became wedged there.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:18PM (#47433381)

    Considering he was thrown from the vehicle (likely from not wearing a seatbelt) I'm not sure you could say he died 'in' a Tesla.

  • by Megahard (1053072) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:19PM (#47433389)

    So, assuming he wasn't already dead, technically he didn't die in the Tesla.

  • by Noah Haders (3621429) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:21PM (#47433417)

    from summary: The Tesla's front section wound up in the middle of the road and caught fire.

    Yup, another tesla fire.

  • Anti-Theft (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like an anti-theft feature.

  • by rullywowr (1831632) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:23PM (#47433443)
    Well, that was an electrifying story! I really got a charge out of it.
  • by Koyaanisqatsi (581196) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:25PM (#47433469)

    So, in who's interest is it that the police perform these "for show" stunts?

    Wouldn't it be much better to deploy a helicopter, drone or other means of tracking the car from a distance, and not risk killing several bystanders in a crash? This time only the bad guy died, but even him did not deserve capital punishment for a car jack ...

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      capital punishment

      Well that's one way to rewrite the story. Why don't we just go ahead and say he driving an electric chair?

    • And not for endangering the lives of everyone else in the city while he was speeding on his joyride either?
      Stealing a car is the least of his crimes.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:37PM (#47433597)

      When the police called off the chase (for other reasons) and he kept going at 100+mph, there's no "punishment" involved, let alone capital punishment. This is a Darwin Award pure and simple, pure suicide-by-stupid.

      I do agree that police chases are a spectacle who's time has long-sinced passed, but you mention drones as a means of tracking them, and they're now "teh new evil" no matter what purpose they're put to by authorities, so until the country gets a little less schizophrenic I don't see that changing.

    • by tipo159 (1151047) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:48PM (#47433709)

      Did you read article? The police had given up on the chase before the guy crashed the Tesla that the final time.

      According to the source, "the pursuit was terminated because there wasn’t enough time or police resources in the area to catch up with the vehicle." It didn't help that the pursuing officers were involved with a minor collision of their own.

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:17PM (#47433981)

        Minor collision? The BusinessInsider source claims the pursuing officers had to be hospitalized. That doesn't sound "minor" to me.

        And they only broke off pursuit when it became impossible for them to continue, not when it became unsafe. Many police departments now have a policy of not performing chases for non-violent crimes because, statistically, you're more likely to kill bystanders by chasing than by letting the criminal drive off.

        • by steelfood (895457)

          the pursuing officers had to be hospitalized

          Police offices can be hospitalized for even minor injuries, largely because of liability concerns. Just because they're in a hospital doesn't mean they had limbs amputated or third degree burns or severe trauma or some such. It could very well have been whiplash or cuts and bruises or smoke inhalation or even concussion-like symptoms.

      • Are you suggesting the police pursuit DIDN'T cause him to drive over 100 mph? Because I think the police chase still motivated him to drive that fast. Even if they pulled off at the end, that still doesn't explain why they had to do it in the first place. There was no threat of violence here except for the reckless driving that predictably occurs during a high-speed chase.
    • by StikyPad (445176)

      A) Police can't initiate a high speed chase without someone that's already fleeing at high speed.
      B) The police stopped chasing him.
      C) He kept fleeing!

      "Approaching" 100MPH is what many people do on the way to work every day where the speed limits are 75, and Tesla's should easily be able to handle that speed. Definitely operator error all the way in this case.

  • I thought Tesla's had remote kill switches.

    Couldn't the police just call Tesla and have them disable the car?

  • by Rone (46994) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:33PM (#47433567)

    So at times the Tesla was being driven at speeds up to 100 MPH, collided with three cars and two utility poles along the way, and eventually suffered an impact that split the car in two, immolating the front half and embedding the back half within a nearby building.

    Can't people see how dangerous and unsafe these vehicles are?!?

    If something as trivial as multiple high-speed impacts can lead to driver fatality, imagine what could happen in a REALLY serious accident!

    • by mlw4428 (1029576)
      I get what you're saying, but if the "high speeds" were "nearly" 100MPH it's not unreasonable to wonder just how the car got literally ripped in half. I do wonder about the safety of a car like that. A lot of the US's top Interstate speed limits are between 70-80MPH. You're not talking a huge difference in speed at that point, so it's not unreasonable to at least question the safeness of the car and ask for some additional testing/data.
      • by Xylaan (795464) on Friday July 11, 2014 @03:53PM (#47433739)
        Actually, since energy goes up at the square of velocity, a jump from 100 to 70 is double the impact energy.

        Also, getting your car ripped in half after hitting a pole apparently is "normal", in that it happens to many cars. https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com] It's unfortunate, but physics isn't your friend in situations like this.

      • My guess is the Tesla hitting one of the "street poles" (telephone pole?) mentioned while sliding sideways at a high rate of speed was the cause of the car being split in two. This differs from Interstates in a very important way, namely, most poles on or near highways are designed either to break away if struck, or have crash barriers around them to absorb the crash energy. Poles on city streets on the other hand are designed for impacts at city street speeds, not highway speeds. At city street speeds c
      • by AnOnyxMouseCoward (3693517) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:00PM (#47433807)
        Look, pretty much all cars split in half when they hit a pole at 100 MPH.

        http://articles.latimes.com/20... [latimes.com]
        http://www.autoevolution.com/n... [autoevolution.com]
        http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news... [nbcnewyork.com]

        How much are you betting that in that last article, the driver of the Maxima wasn't driving 100 MPH? Most highway limits are 65 MPH, you're talking 50% faster, which is perhaps not a "huge difference" but it's not negligible. It also doesn't matter if the car splits in half, as long as the driver is protected within the cage (look at how F1 cars crumple when they crash, without a pole, but protect the driver). What matters more is someone probably not wearing a seat belt...
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I get what you're saying, but if the "high speeds" were "nearly" 100MPH it's not unreasonable to wonder just how the car got literally ripped in half. I do wonder about the safety of a car like that. A lot of the US's top Interstate speed limits are between 70-80MPH. You're not talking a huge difference in speed at that point, so it's not unreasonable to at least question the safeness of the car and ask for some additional testing/data.>blockquote>

        The problem is energy. It increases with the square of

      • by Above (100351) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:06PM (#47433875)

        I think I can help you out. [bit.ly]

        It's actually a rather common, and well studied occurrence. For instance here's a 70 MPH into a tree [wreckedexotics.com] car split in half. Many cars have had extremely weak [autosafetyexpert.com] side impact designs for years. It's also one of the hardest things to protect against since there is no crumple zone on the side to absorb energy, unlike the front and back.

        I bet across the country there are multiple cars split in half every single day, many from hitting narrow objects like light poles at relatively modest speeds, like 45MPH.

      • You're not talking a huge difference in speed at that point...

        Are you aware that the kinetic energy is proportional to the SQUARE of the speed, right? There is a huge difference in safety - much bigger than between 40MPH and 70MPH.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        get what you're saying, but if the "high speeds" were "nearly" 100MPH it's not unreasonable to wonder just how the car got literally ripped in half.

        Last year in a town in California, someone who was not being chased, managed to split a compact car completely in half by hitting a tree. The two parts of the car ended up quite a distance from each other. He wasn't driving on a freeway, or a sidestreet, but was on a street with a 35 or 40mph speed limit. Reports said the speed was "up to 100mph"

  • Is a win for the Tesla, but it sounds likes it pretty spectacularly failed when he hit something. Was he not wearing a seatbelt? Since the car was split into pieces that then caught fire, would he of died either way?
    • by Dins (2538550)

      Is a win for the Tesla, but it sounds likes it pretty spectacularly failed when he hit something.

      ...while it was going 100 mph. I'm all for safety but I don't expect ANY car company to design a car that will keep occupants safe in a crash with enough kinetic energy to embed half the car in a fucking building...

      • by geekmux (1040042)

        Is a win for the Tesla, but it sounds likes it pretty spectacularly failed when he hit something.

        ...while it was going 100 mph. I'm all for safety but I don't expect ANY car company to design a car that will keep occupants safe in a crash with enough kinetic energy to embed half the car in a fucking building...

        Exactly. And with the amount of deaths recorded every year, only the truly ignorant would assume that driving anywhere is a safe activity.

        Oh wait a second, I forgot...we already have the truly ignorant behind the wheel who thinks they can text, surf, and drive all at the same time.

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        >> I don't expect ANY car company to..

        More to the point, no one who curerntly thinks they want it would actually want it once they found out the associated downsides of massive increases in weight and cost of every new car.

    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      From the pictures I saw it looked like it was survivable so long as you weren't in the rear seats. The front of the passenger compartment was intact and whatever fire there was doesn't look like it was very extensive. There might be some melting of the upholstery.

  • by alta (1263)

    See, another one caught fire! These things are unsafe, they're constantly catching fire! This is just one of many smoldering teslas!

  • Anyone who thinks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:13PM (#47433937) Homepage

    or tries to blame this on the Tesla car killing someone in a 100MPH accident and not the car thief's actions, is a straight up retard

    I have no illusions about Musk doing this to get richer but so far his shown that being a psychopath is not a requirement to being a CEO who might actually like to see the world change for better and move humanity forward.

  • by tsa (15680)

    Out with a bang, not with a whisper.

  • I'm willing to bet the guy wasn't buckled up. Even when cars are tore in half in crashes if the person is buckled in they are usually still attached to the seat (even though they are sometimes dead from the car being sheared in half).

    There is like a 95% chance that if he was ejected that he wasn't buckled up (the seat itself would've had to been sheared to cut the lap belt). I bet the final investigation notes that he wasn't buckled in (there is no guarantee of survival if the passenger compartment is compr

  • The victims (Score:4, Informative)

    by wonderboss (952111) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:22PM (#47434025)

    "Sgt. Chris Tatar, with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, said five people in the three vehicles that were struck by the Tesla sustained “varying degrees of injury.” They were hospitalized, and had been released as of Monday, he added."

  • Wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hamsterdan (815291) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:22PM (#47434029)

    I'm amazed at how the safety cage is still there, pretty much undamaged, even if the car was split in half...

    Looking at the pictures from TFA, looks like he would still be alive if not ejected from the car (if he could've gotten out before it caught fire)

    No wonder NHTSA broke their machine while testing roof resistance

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/go... [roadandtrack.com]

  • >>> for this senseless tragedy

    What tragedy? IMHO its actually a success in gene pool improvement. We all need to stop this 'every life is sacred no matter what' thing.

  • " Reports claim he was traveling at speeds of "nearly 100 mph"

    So, is that so special in the US? I drove much faster than that this evening on my way home from work on the highway (180 km/h on GPS = 113 mph), But then, I don't drive a Tesla.

    • by Wookact (2804191)
      Do you also slide your car into a light pole sideways, if so yours is the only consumer mass produced car that can handle that.
  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Friday July 11, 2014 @04:46PM (#47434187) Journal

    I thought Teslas had a literally encrypted key that all but guaranteed the car couldn't be stolen sans key.,

    Did the service center leave the key with the car or is the car inherently insecure?

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

Working...