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article imageDriver killed in Tesla Model S sedan crash in the Netherlands

By Lucky Malicay     Sep 8, 2016 in Technology
Another accident involving Tesla, this time in the Netherlands, occurred when a man driving a Model S sedan was killed after his car crashed at high speed into a tree and caught fire.
But the American electric car pioneer now launching an investigation into Wednesday’s incident said the victim was not driving on auto-pilot during the crash, which happened in the eastern Dutch town of Baarn.
The incident occurred four months after an American driver died when a Model S vehicle, which was operating in the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode, collided with a truck in Florida.
"We can confirm at this time, based on the car's logs that the auto-pilot, had not been activated at any point," Tesla Netherlands told AFP, adding "the car was driving at 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour."
The 53-year-old man was from the Dutch town of Hilversum and reports said rescuers spent several hours recovering his body. He was the second person to have died in a crash involving a Tesla electric car.
Elektrek reported that the driver has already been dead by the time rescuers arrived on the scene. It said firefighters were having a hard time extinguishing the fire and were facing problems on how to retrieve the victim’s body from the vehicle without being electrocuted.
Tesla the Netherlands immediately sent technicians to help the rescuers. But Ronald Boer, a spokesman for the firefighters, said the retrieval problem was caused by the serious situation of the wreckage, not by the absence of expertise to handle a crashed electric car.
“If the car was on four wheels, the fire brigade normally has no difficulty to turn off the batteries. However, this car is completely destroyed, hampering the recovery. In this situation, you never know what can happen,” Boer said.
Tesla Motors said the Model S sedan involved in the crash wasn't running on the semi-autonomous Autopilot and that the speed is consistent with the vehicle’s damage.
"We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation," the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement.
Last month, the company launched an investigation into an incident involving a Model S sedan that caught fire during a test drive in France. Those on board, a couple and a female Tesla demonstrator, were not hurt during the incident, which happened in the southwestern town of Bayonne.
The Model S sedan is sold at prices starting at $70,000 but a new speedier version, the Model S P100D that the company introduced last month, costs at least $135,000 and is capable of traveling more than 482 kilometers before it needs recharging.
More about Tesla, Tesla model s, Crash, Netherlands, autonomous cars
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