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Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Driver of Tesla that crashed into Palm Harbor home facing two counts of vehicular homicide

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) continue investigating a crash that killed two people. The crash occurred at approximately 10:21 p.m. on Friday, September 3, 2021 in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The crash involved a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid which crashed into the home located at 1498 Caird Way in Palm Harbor. Troopers say that the Tesla was traveling northbound at a high speed on Manning Road approaching Hermosa Drive in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Video from the scene of the crash

Photo of the severely damaged Tesla after crashing into a home on Caird Way in Palm Harbor

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The driver, 43 year-old Vaughn M Mongan of Palm Harbor, was operating the vehicle and failed to stop at a posted stop sign at the T-intersection. Troopers say that the speeding vehicle was reportedly not in autopilot mode at the time of the crash.

The Tesla, traveled through the intersection, struck an embankment and became airborne until colliding with a residence. The vehicle penetrated the exterior rear walls of the home and struck one of three adult occupants of the residence, resulting in fatal injuries to a 69-year-old female. Friends and family have identified her as Donna Rein. Rein died at the scene of the incident. A GoFundMe account was set up HERE for the family.

Path of the Tesla prior to driving through the Palm Harbor home

According to FHP, the seriously injured driver had four passengers in the vehicle. One of the passengers, a 43 year-old Odessa man died after being transported to an area hospital from injuries suffered during the crash. Friends have identified him at Travis Grant Meisman, the owner of the vehicle. Two passengers, a 48 year-old man from Aurora, Illinois and a 28 year-old man from New Port Richey were seriously injured.

One of the occupants in the vehicle was flown via helicopter to Tampa General Hospital. The others injured in the crash were transported to various other hospitals in the area.

Troopers were assisted by first responders from the fire departments of Dunedin, East Lake, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. Three of the vehicle’s occupants required firefighters to extricate them from the vehicle. Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office also assisted at the scene as well as the landing zone which was located near the intersection of CR-1 and Tampa Road.

Booking photo of Vaughn Mongan

On October 8, 2021, FHP Troopers arrested Mongan for his role in the fatal traffic crash. It was determined that Mongan was traveling at a minimum speed of 116 MPH in a 30 MPH residential area when the crash occurred. Mongan was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, three counts of reckless driving resulting in serious injury, and one count of reckless driving resulting in property damage. Mongan was delivered to the Pinellas County Jail following his apprehension.

The Florida Highway Patrol’s policy is to withhold the names of all parties involved in crashes due to Marsy’s Law. This law, passed by the Florida voters in 2018, was meant to protect crime victims. FHP has expanded and provided this protection even to those that have been arrested and caused the death of others in recent DUI cases. Their interpretation deprives the public of information that had always been available as part of the state’s public records law.


The Tesla Model S Plaid is a fully electric vehicle (EV) having a 0-60 mph speed of 1.99 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph and peak power of 1020hp. These speed and acceleration numbers are higher than even the Ferrari SF90, McLaren 765LT, Lamborghini Huracan Evo, Posrsche Taycan Turbo S or any other currently made production vehicle. The starting price of the Model S Plaid, according to the company website, is $129,990.


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