Victims of burning batteries launched from Tesla crash share stories

While several neighbors said the crash was traumatizing, they all believe it could have been a lot worse.

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 6:49 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2020 6:54 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Corvallis residents are shaken up after a high-speed crash on NW Walnut Boulevard earlier this week that created pure chaos. 

RELATED: TESLA BATTERIES LAUNCHED INTO NEARBY HOMES AFTER HIGH-SPEED CRASH

While several neighbors said the crash was traumatizing, they all believe it could have been a lot worse. 

"Holy cow not what we were expecting on a no-big-deal night in the middle of the week but oh my goodness,” Janet Bazurto said.

Bazurto and her husband were watching National Geographic Tuesday night when the crash happened.

"All of a sudden in through the window came a flaming object,” Bazurto said.

Her first thought was that someone threw what looked like a Molotov cocktail directly into their window.

"Broke the window, slat in the blinds, landed in my husband’s lap after hitting him on his arm, leaving a small burn mark, then he brushed it off into the floor. It burned a hole in the floor and burned some holes in his chair too,” Bazurto said.

Bazurto’s neighbor across the street also felt the effects of the crash.

"I heard this really weird noise and suddenly an impact and the whole house shook and I immediately got up, took her and ran into my son's bedroom to look outside the window to see if I could see anything and instead of seeing anything, I saw a fire on his bed," Holly Vidana said.

However, both Vidana and Bazurto were able to put the fire out quickly and no one was seriously injured from the battery cells.

Both families praised police for their quick response to the crash.

One woman who lives down the road from where the crash happened said this could have ended much worse.

"I’ve got to say it was very very lucky that no one was walking on this road at that time. No matter what time of day, until about midnight, people are walking out here. It’s a perfect road for a nice stroll and there was no one out there,” neighbor Diane Brazell said.

So, what caused all of this damage?

Police said it was hundreds of small battery cells that were launched into the air after the Tesla that Dylan Milota of Corvallis was driving clipped a power pole and knocked down two trees and a telephone junction box.

Corvallis Police collected as many of the batteries as possible at the time of the crash but they have been receiving reports of more of them being found in the area.

Officials want the community to be aware that the batteries:

  • Can reportedly stay hot to the touch for up to 24 hours and could cause burns if handled.
  • Can release toxic fumes that may harm people and animals if inhaled.
  • Can leak substances that may harm people and animals if they are exposed.

If you find one of these batteries, please contact the Corvallis Regional Communication Center at 541-766-6914 and do not touch the battery.

Corvallis Fire Department personnel will respond to collect the battery for proper disposal.

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