A Tesla Model 3 crash on Tuesday night sent battery cells flying into nearby homes, which started at least one fire, Corvallis, Ore., police reported.
Dylan Milota, 21, was driving the car through a residential neighborhood at approximately 100 mph when it struck and knocked down a power pole and two trees, according to police.
The impact was so severe that the electric car’s battery pack ripped open and hundreds of the cylindrical cells inside escaped. The Tesla’s pack is comprised of about 3,000 to 4,400 of the cells, depending on the model.
Police said some of the cells landed in someone’s lap while they were in bed and ignited the bedding.
Milota fled the scene with minor injuries, but was captured nearby and charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, hit and run, criminal mischief, reckless driving and reckless endangering, Police Lt. Eaton said.
Police warned residents that, despite the emergency crew’s cleanup efforts, there could still be some of the potentially toxic and dangerous cells in the area near the intersection of NW Walnut and NW Fairlawn Boulevards.
Tesla apparently no longer has a functioning press office to respond to requests for comment and CEO Elon Musk has not said anything about the incident on social media.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.