19-year-old Woman Killed in Fiery Tesla Crash
Nina Colasanto, 19, of New Ipswich, has died from injuries she sustained in a Dec. 26 car accident in New Hampshire. According to a report in the Union Leader, Colasanto was a passenger in a Tesla sports car that hit a tree, split in half and exploded. She underwent multiple surgeries since the crash due to burn injuries, broken bones and lung problems. Colasanto died Jan. 19 during surgery at a Massachusetts hospital. The Tesla Model X in which she was a passenger was being driven by 17-year-old Travis Olson.
The vehicle went off the roadway and crashed into a tree. Olson and another 17-year-old passenger were taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Colasanto was trapped in the burning vehicle when residents along the street where the vehicle crashed rushed out of their homes in an attempt to get her out. Their efforts were credited with saving her that night allowing first responders to get her to a hospital. Officials say speed was likely a factor in this fatal crash. However, the investigation is still ongoing and there have been no reports of any criminal charges filed in this case.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Colasanto’s family members and friends for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Tesla’ Battery Issues
Based on this information, officials say excessive speed might have played a part in this collision. However, Colasanto’s fatal injuries were the result of the fiery collision and the fact that she was trapped in the burning vehicle. Recently, the parents of a Florida teen, Edgar Monserratt Martinez, 18, filed a lawsuit against Tesla alleging that the battery pack in its electric Model S is defective and can erupt into intense fires.
They alleged that the car’s battery was inadequately protected, making the whole vehicle defective. Their son was a front-seat passenger during the May 8, 2018 crash, which also killed the car’s driver, 18-year-old Barrett Riley. Excessive speed was also a factor in that collision.
The Debate Over Autopilot
It is also not clear if the Autopilot feature was engaged during this fatal New Hampshire crash. Consumer safety advocates have criticized the electric vehicle maker for calling its semi-autonomous feature “Autopilot” because it could lull drivers into a sense of false security. Tesla has since warned that drivers should be wary even when they set the vehicle on Autopilot mode and should be prepared to take over at a moment’s notice. However, that message doesn’t often reach everyone. As auto defect lawyers, we hope all aspects of this incident are analyzed and that the victim’s families get justice.