NJ Man Dies in Crash, Tesla Battery Fire Takes Two Hours to Put Out
A New Jersey man died in a crash on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in New York during Saturday's snow when his Tesla slid off the road.
The crash ignited the car's lithium battery, requiring several thousand gallons of water to douse the flames.
New York State Police said the snow was a factor in causing Jyung Hahn, 46, of Cresskill, to go off the northbound lanes around 11 a.m. and into a tree near Exit 10 in Nanuet. The sedan became fully engulfed in flames.
The impact of the crash caused the battery to rupture, putting it into thermal runaway, according to the Nanuet Fire Department. It is a condition that develops when the heat generated inside a battery is higher than the amount of heat being dissipated, making the fire very difficult to extinguish.
It took two hours for the fire to be declared under control.
According to the Nanuet Fire Department, the Tesla S's sole source of power is its 375-volt lithium-ion battery, which spans the entire length and width of the floor of the car.
Hahn was the only person in the car, according to police.