Driver killed, woman rescued from burning Tesla that crashed into tree and hit nearby home, HPD says

Shannon Ryan Image
Sunday, July 30, 2023
Tesla driver dies after crashing into tree, hitting house, HPD says
A driver died, and a woman survived after a Tesla crashed into a tree and hit a home on Del Rio Street near Old Spanish Trail, Houston police say.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman was rescued by strangers who dragged her away from a smoking Tesla moments before it burst into flames in southeast Houston Friday night.

Unfortunately, the good Samaritans were not able to pull the male driver out before the vehicle was engulfed in flames. According to Houston police, he died of his injuries.

Sgt. Matthew Sudduth said the man was speeding at about 11 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree in Deanna Coleman's front yard on Del Rio Street near Old Spanish Trail.

Coleman said they struggled to open the vehicle's doors because Tesla door handles are unusual. Finally, the passenger, a young woman, was able to open a door and fell out.

Coleman said the car was already smoking, so she dragged the young woman to the other side of her yard.

"I think that God meant for us to be here and to help save her," she said.

Coleman told ABC13 they were unable to get the unconscious male driver out of the vehicle.

"There was so much debris and stuff, the airbags. You couldn't," she explained.

One of Coleman's friends tried to keep the flames at bay with a garden house.

"It's traumatic. You have to see someone up in your house and pass away, and you can't help them. You don't know what else to do," she continued.

Coleman said the heat was so intense it melted her grandson's basketball hoop and burned much of her pecan tree. She worried her wooden house would catch fire too. She was concerned for her family members that stayed asleep.

"We can get another house, but I can't get another grandchild," she said.

Coleman hopes her pecan tree will pull through. Right now, she isn't quite sure what to do with the spot but wants the driver's family and surviving young woman to know she's open to talking.

"I want for (the passenger) to be OK and get through this, and God bless her," she said.

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