Coquitlam RCMP investigate fatal crash on Lougheed Highway

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WATCH: Fatal crash highlights electric car risks – Mar 18, 2019

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the story stated the fire re-ignited several times. The Coquitlam Fire Department said the fire did not reignite. 

A man has been killed in a car crash in Coquitlam, and police say speed may have been a factor.

RCMP say it happened on the Lougheed Highway near Alderson Avenue at about 1 a.m. Monday.

A Tesla slammed into a power pole, bursting into flames.

READ MORE: Hit-and-run crash in Vancouver sends 2 to hospital

Because it was an electric vehicle, emergency crews had to proceed with caution.’

“They do respond different from a gasoline fire and it has the possibility to reignite and we back off,” said Cpl Billy Leung with the Coquitlam RCMP.

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The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating fatal crashes involving Teslas.

Last year, a pair of Florida teenagers died when their vehicle crashed and caught on fire, and last month in Florida, a Tesla battery reignited after a burned out car had been towed from the initial scene.

READ MORE: Tesla in autopilot mode accelerated seconds before crashing into firetruck: police

Tesla’s user guide says battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish, and can possibly reignite.

“The crews are aware that when they are dealing with a vehicle like that they need to be mindful of where they electrical lines are running and batteries are located and if there is a master shutoff they can access,” said Surrey Assistant Fire Chief Jason Cairney.

Coquitlam RCMP continue to investigate the overnight crash, and are currently seeking dash cam video or any witnesses who saw the black Model X around the time of the collision.

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