Omar Awan, a 48-year-old anesthesiologist, died inside his Tesla Model S in South Florida after he crashed it into a palm tree and the police could not rescue him owing to vehicle’s futurist handle design.
According to the “wrongful death” lawsuit that was filed by Awan’s family, the vehicle’s door handles were retracted and did not ‘auto-present’ when the police officer arrived at the scene, Newsweek reported on Wednesday.
Awan was driving between 120 to 145 km per hour when he hit a palm tree. The car caught fire and got filled with smoke, witnesses told the police.
It was not the crash that killed him, his family’s lawyers said, but the car’s futuristic design features.
“Fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition — all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and unreasonably dangerous fire risk,’ the lawsuit read.
Awan eventually died of smoke inhalation and did not have any internal injuries or broken bones from the impact of the crash.
Meanwhile, Tesla said in a statement that it was deeply saddened by the crash.
“We understand that speed is being investigated as a factor in this crash, and know that high-speed collisions can result in a fire in any type of car, not just electric vehicles,” the company said.
In May 2018, US safety regulators launched an investigation into a crash in Utah that occurred when a Tesla Model S plowed into a fire department vehicle while it was on “autopilot” mode.
The infamous Tesla Model 3 sedan crash with a semi-truck that happened in March in Florida was triggered when the Autopilot system failed to detect the driver’s hand on the steering wheel. The crash killed the 50-year-old Tesla driver Jeremy Beren Banner.
Earlier in 2016, Joshua Brown died in a similar Tesla crash near Gainesville, Florida when his Model S sedan crashed into a white-painted semi-trailer truck.