Man who crashed Tesla into home at 116 mph, killing 2, receives 27-year sentence

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man who crashed a Tesla into a home, killing one of his passengers and a woman in the residence, was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Monday.

>> Read more trending news

Vaughn W. Mongan, 45, of Palm Harbor, was arrested on March 7 and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless driving with serious bodily injury, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, WFTS-TV reported.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mongan was driving the vehicle at 116 mph in a residential area of Palm Harbor on Sept. 3, 2021, according to WFLA-TV. The speed limit in the area was 30 mph and the Tesla was not on autopilot, according to the television station.

Troopers said that Mongan went through a stop sign at a T intersection and hit a grassy embankment, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The vehicle crashed through a fence and into a home, according to the newspaper.

The Tesla hit and killed a 69-year-old woman, WFLA reported. She was identified as Donna Rein, the Times reported. Her dog, Lily, was also killed.

A 43-year-old passenger in the vehicle suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at an area hospital. He was identified as Travis Meisman, of Odessa, the Times reported.

According to WFTS, Meisman had bought the Tesla Model S Plaid model hours before the crash and allowed Mongan to drive it.

Two other passengers were seriously hurt, according to the television station.

As part of Mongan’s plea deal, Judge Chris Helinger agreed that Mongan would be sentenced to no more than 40 years in prison, the Times reported.

“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Mongan’s attorney, Barry Taracks, told the newspaper.

“My heart goes out to all of them,” assistant state attorney Alexandra Spadaro said, according to the Times. “There’s no amount of time that will take away the pain of losing Travis and Donna, but I’m thankful the court did not depart from the bottom of the guidelines.”

Comments on this article