Photos: Stolen Tesla Splits In Half And Explodes After Crashing In West Hollywood
A stolen Tesla racing up La Brea Avenue early this morning split in two and exploded into flames after crashing into two cars and taking down a traffic light pole in West Hollywood. At least six people were injured in the fiery crash.
The Tesla's lithium battery exploded into flames that shot up several stories into the air—leading some neighbors to initially mistake it for an early Fourth of July celebration. One man told KTLA, "We originally thought it was fireworks, everybody thought it was fireworks that were just exploding."
Investigators told City News Service the Tesla may have hit 100 mph. One half of the Tesla ended up getting wedged between two walls at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue. There were two alleged thieves in the Tesla—one who was ejected—and five people in another Honda involved in the crash. Firefighters had to cut the roof off to rescue the injured inside.
The brand-new Tesla had been reported stolen from a dealership in Playa Vista. Los Angeles police officers engaged in a high-speed chase starting at 12:45 p.m., but they ended up crashing into a center divider in Baldwin Hills. They suffered minor injuries, but the Tesla continued on until crashing at Lexington and La Brea avenues. The other car it crashed into was parked.
“We think the Tesla struck the Mercury that’s parked over at the curb, and it also crashed into the two light poles, and it was severed in half,” Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Micheal White told CBS Los Angeles.
La Brea was shut down this morning while authorities investigated the crash.