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Wife of doctor who died when his Tesla caught fire files a lawsuit against the car makers

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The wife of a Florida man, who died in his burning Tesla Model S after he crashed, spoke of her heartbreak that he won’t see his five children growing up.

Dr Omar Awan, 48, who was an anesthesiologist, was killed in February when his Tesla crashed near Fort Lauderdale.

A police officer arrived almost immediately after the crash but wasn’t able to rescue Awan before the car was engulfed in flames. 

His family are now suing the car company over its futuristic door handles that ‘prevented first responders from pulling the victim’ from the car.

Dr Liliana Awan, the wife of a Florida man who died in his burning Tesla Model S after he crashed in February, spoke of her heartbreak that he won't see his five children growing up

Dr Liliana Awan, the wife of a Florida man who died in his burning Tesla Model S after he crashed in February, spoke of her heartbreak that he won’t see his five children growing up

Dr Omar Awan, 48, who was an anesthesiologist, was killed in February when his Tesla crashed near Fort Lauderdale. He is pictured above with his wife Liliana

Dr Omar Awan, 48, who was an anesthesiologist, was killed in February when his Tesla crashed near Fort Lauderdale. He is pictured above with his wife Liliana

Speaking at a press conference along with her lawyer Stuart Grossman, his wife Liliana Awan, who is also a doctor, discussed the crash and the effect it has had on her five children who range in age from 6 to 17-years-old. 

She said: ‘I have from a 6-year-old to 17-year-old, they’re little and they broke down. 

‘Is daddy going to be there when I graduate, my little ones, they cant comprehend, concrete thinking doesn’t set in until the age of 9.

‘Is my dad going to be at my my graduation, is my dad going to be at my wedding, he’s not going to be at their weddings or their graduation or at their first born child

‘That will never happen, I am it for my kids, they have no one else.’

According to a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by Awan’s family last week, the vehicle’s door handles were retracted and didn’t ‘auto-present’ when the officer arrived to the scene. 

The family alleges that because Tesla’s handles didn’t work, the officer was unable to save Awan.  

‘Fire engulfed the car and burned Dr Awan beyond recognition – all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk,’ the lawsuit reads. 

Liliana Awan said on Monday: ‘I want Tesla to recognize the faults of the car and improve the faults off the car and the safety to prevent people from dying and leaving behind families.’

Speaking at a press conference along with her lawyer Stuart Grossman, his wife Liliana Awan, who is also a doctor, discussed the crash and the impact it has had on her five children who range in age from 6 to 17-years-old

Speaking at a press conference along with her lawyer Stuart Grossman, his wife Liliana Awan, who is also a doctor, discussed the crash and the impact it has had on her five children who range in age from 6 to 17-years-old

According to a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by Awan's family last week, the vehicle's door handles were retracted and didn't 'auto-present' when the officer arrived to the scene

According to a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by Awan’s family last week, the vehicle’s door handles were retracted and didn’t ‘auto-present’ when the officer arrived to the scene

‘He was alive looking at the first responders who were there on the spot to save him,’ Awan said. ‘He made eye contact with them.’

Her attorney Stuart Grossman said all cars on the roadway have the potential to crash.  He claimed a driver should not then have to worry about the vehicle catching fire.

He added: ‘When a crash is easily survived as her husbands was the last thing you want to have happen to it is for it to catch fire.’

Liliana Oman said her husband believed the car was safe when he purchased it. She was reported by the Sun-Sentinel as saying: ‘We fell in love with it. We never ever imagined that anything like this could have ever happened.’

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A medical examiner’s report stated that Omar Awan had burns on 85 per cent of his body. The report stated that he died due to smoke inhalation and burn injuries.

Dr Liliana Oman claimed her five children don't understand that their father will never come home

Dr Liliana Oman claimed her five children don’t understand that their father will never come home 

Witnesses told police in Davie, Florida, that the car was traveling 75-to-90mph when it left the road for an unknown reason

Witnesses told police in Davie, Florida, that the car was traveling 75-to-90mph when it left the road for an unknown reason

Witnesses told police in Davie, Florida, that the car was traveling 75-to-90mph when it left the road for an unknown reason.

The driver over-corrected and the car slid across three lanes and into some trees in the median.

According to the suit, Awan died of smoke inhalation and did not have any internal injuries or broken bones from the impact of the crash.

At the time, Tesla said in a statement that it was deeply saddened by the crash.

According to the suit, Awan died of smoke inhalation and did not have any internal injuries or broken bones from the impact of the crash

According to the suit, Awan died of smoke inhalation and did not have any internal injuries or broken bones from the impact of the crash

A medical examiner’s report stated that Omar Awan had burns on 85 per cent of his body. The report stated that he died due to smoke inhalation and burn injuries

A medical examiner’s report stated that Omar Awan had burns on 85 per cent of his body. The report stated that he died due to smoke inhalation and burn injuries

Tesla said in a statement that it posts language on its website for first responders saying that fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish and that they should consider letting the battery burn while protecting exposures to buildings

Tesla said in a statement that it posts language on its website for first responders saying that fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish and that they should consider letting the battery burn while protecting exposures to buildings

‘We understand that speed is being investigated as a factor in this crash, and know that high speed collisions can result in a fire in any type of car, not just electric vehicles,’ the company said.

As the vehicle was being towed to a salvage yard, the Tesla’s battery reignited twice.  

Tesla said in a statement that it posts language on its website for first responders saying that fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish and that they should consider letting the battery burn while protecting exposures to buildings. 

This isn’t the first time that Tesla has been blamed for a fatal car crash. 

Police said Barrett Riley, 18, and his 18-year-old friend Edgar Monserrat died when Riley lost control of his father’s car at 116mph in May 2018. Another friend was thrown from the car and survived. 

Barrett’s father, James Riley, sued Tesla on October 10, claiming the crash should have been ‘entirely survivable’.

Monserrat’s parents filed a similar lawsuit in January. Both blame the car’s lithium-ion battery pack, which exploded when the Tesla hit a concrete wall.

 

 

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