A Mason mother of five was killed after a Tesla she was traveling in overturned and caught on fire near an elementary school, police said.

On Nov. 8 morning, Christine Corder was driving her 2021 Tesla Model Y near Merwin elementary school in Clermont County, Ohio, when it overturned after going off the side of the road.

According to local media reports, Corder’s car struck an electric pole during the crash causing the elementary school to lose power.

The Tesla was completely destroyed, killing Corder. A tree was uprooted from the ground and pieces of debris were scattered throughout the area, authorities said.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Charles Gate, a resident in the neighborhood for more than 20 years.

Captain Mike Masterson of Pierce Township Fire Department told WCPO that the electric car made it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the fire.

"A standard car fire, typically, once we get the fire extinguisher, it's out. It's done, we're good to go," said Masterson.

"What what we're finding with this one is the batteries are shorting out on us, and they just keep generating heat and keep reigniting."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is not enough data to track how often electric vehicles catch fire.

"We're just not all that familiar with electric vehicle fires. In fact, this is the first one that we've had in our area," Masterson said. "We’ll use this as a learning experience… It'll shape policy and procedure in the future for us."

The elementary school was closed due to the accident.

"Merwin Elementary is closed due to a major car accident on Gaskins Rd [and] the great length of time that is anticipated for authorities to manage the scene," the district said in a tweet.

"No school personnel or school buses were involved in the accident. This closure is for Merwin Elementary only."

The exact cause of the crash is unclear at this time, however, some neighbors said speeding is a problem in the area.

"Sometimes they go down the street a little fast," Gates said. "Some people like to bypass the lights and I think they can fly down one of these, this street here to miss one of the lights."

Christine Corder
Christine Corder died after the Tesla she was driving crashed and caught on fire. Mason City Schools

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