An Ohio mother of five was killed early Monday morning after her Tesla crashed into a pole and overturned, then went up in flames and the electric battery kept reigniting, as firefighters are warning drivers about the dangers of such fires.
Christy Corder, 41, crashed her Model Y near Merwin Elementary School in Mason, about 22 miles from Cincinnati, on November 8. The school in the area shut down the following day due to the accident.
Corder’s car hit a pole and a tree before overturning into what appeared to be a front yard on Gaskins Road and Red Fox Drive, police said. Her car caught fire with the tree crushing the vehicle, trapping Corder inside.
Christy Corder, 41, died after her car crashed into a pole and a tree before it overturned and caught fire, leaving her trapped inside her Tesla Model Y
The mom-of-five leaves behind two sets of twins, her eldest son, and her husband Nick, 42
Corder (pictured in 2012) was a stay-at-home mom until recently when she got a full-time job at Bethesda North Hospital, which she was ‘so excited’ about
An unidentified Rumpke recycling driver heard the explosion at 4:15 a.m.
‘I heard something explode and something’s on fire right now,’ the driver can be heard saying in a 911 call obtained by Fox 19.
‘Oh my god, it’s a car. It’s a car. I can’t get to them,’ he said before his breathing picked up. ‘I can’t – I can’t get to them. I can’t get to them.’
He told police he did not see anyone get out of the car.
Corder was pronounced dead at the scene. She leaves behind husband Nick, 42; two sets of twins and a son. The official cause of her death has not been determined and the cause of the crash is unknown.
Firefighters were still pouring water onto the vehicle hours after the crash, which is not uncommon with a Telsa – as it takes 40 times more water to stop the fire than a normal gasoline-burning car.
The electric battery lit on fire after a tree fell on the car, causing the vehicle to burn. Corder was pronounced dead at the scene
The mom hit the tree on Gaskins Road and Red Fox Drive near Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 8
Firefighters had to pour water on the car well into the morning (pictured) due to the electric battery still being hot. Firefighters are now warning the public that Tesla fires are more dangerous than those of gas-powered cars.
The car was a complete unrecognizable shell and charred black.
‘I’ve never seen anything like this before,’ Charles Gate, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years, told WCPO.
Firefighters claimed Tesla’s electric battery complicated rescue efforts, as the batteries tend to reignite.
‘A standard car fire, typically, once we get the fire extinguished, it’s out. It’s done, we’re good to go,’ Pierce Township Fire Captain Mike Masterson told WCPO. ‘What we’re finding with this one is the batteries are shorting out on us, and they just keep generating heat and keep reigniting.’
Tesla, which has an emergency response guide on its corporate website, said a Model Y takes ‘approximately 3,000-8,000 gallons of water, applied directly to the battery, to fully extinguish and cool down a battery fire,’ which could take 24 hours to completely cool before responders can interact with the vehicle.
An average car fire takes 500 to 1,000 gallons of water to extinguish, according to Austin Fire Department Division Chief Thayer Smith, who spoke to The Independent in August. This means a Tesla takes 40 times more water to contain a battery fire when compared to a gas-powered car.
The electric vehicle company also says the Model Y must be ‘completely cooled’ before releasing it to second responders.
‘There must be no fire, smoke, audible popping/hissing, or heating present in the high voltage battery for at least 45 minutes before the vehicle can be released to second responders (such as law enforcement, vehicle transporters, etc.),’ the guide states.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Unit 13 is investigating the crash.
Friends and family are shocked at the death of Corder. Her friend Julie said she miss her friend ‘every second of every day’ and Mason City Schools, where Corder’s kids attend, said they are ‘heartbroken’ and ‘mourning’
‘Numb. I’m still numb,’ Corder’s friend and neighbor of 20 years Jennifer Wells told WLWT. ‘I think we’re all really numb and it hasn’t hit. Reality hasn’t sunk in yet.
‘[She’s] one of those friends that’s going to keep a hole in your heart for a long time. She’s going to be missed by everyone.’
Her best friend Julie Gogh posted on Facebook: ‘You will always be my best friend and I will miss you every second of every day Christy Corder,’ with a broken heart emoji.
Mason City Schools, where the Corder children attend, said in a Facebook post that they are ‘heartbroken.’
‘Our Comet community is mourning the death of a Mason mom of 5 who died in a car crash this morning,’ the school said in a statement. ‘We are heartbroken for the Corder family and know that they are in need of our love, prayers and respect for their privacy.’
‘We are just so devastated by the loss. [And] hoping that the family knows just how very much that our community is ready to wrap around them as they, obviously, process this incredibly shocking event.’
It is unknown if Corder was driving her vehicle on autopilot or manually at the time of the crash and the cause of death is unknown as well
Corder recently started a new job as a Unit Clerk at Bethesda North Hospital in Montgomery, Ohio, after being a stay-at-home mom for years.
‘She was so excited about her new job and wanting to advance further in the medical field, all while making sure her 5 children got the best in life,’ Wells wrote on a GoFundMe page.
‘She had a fun spirit, great soul and a kind heart.’
The GoFundMe page was set up to help with funeral costs and had raised $11,138 out of it’s $20,000 goal as of November 10.
DailyMail.com reached out to the Ohio State Highway and Tesla for comment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into several Tesla crashes in June of this year after 30 crashes were reported in the vehicles.
The administration investigated a 2019 crash in Texas where a doctor and his friend died on April 17, 2019, as well as a May 5, 2021 crash in Los Angeles, where the driver showed on his social media that he was driving with no hands.
The NHTSA reportedly looked into the autopilot system Tesla is notorious for that suspected of being a cause.
Of the 30 Tesla crashes, the NHTSA has ruled out Tesla’s Autopilot was the cause in three incidents and published reports on two of them.
Autopilot was operating in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported.
In the case of the Texas crash, the board said in May that testing suggested the vehicle’s automated steering system was ‘not available’ on the road where the accident occurred.
The NTSB has criticized Tesla’s system safeguards for Autopilot, which allows drivers to keep their hands off the wheel for extended periods.
When it comes to laws governing autonomous vehicles, the U.S. has a patchwork of legislation that varies state-by-state, but currently, it’s not strictly illegal to own and operate a totally self-driving vehicle.
Some states, however, have enacted laws regulating or authorizing them, but no state has out-right banned them.
So far, 29 states – Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin – as well as Washington, D.C., have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles.
It is unknown if Corder was using Autopilot while operating her vehicle.