Family living in hotel after Tesla slammed in Palm Harbor home, killing grandmother

Pinellas County

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – For the past two and a half weeks, Lindsey Jones has been in a fog of grief. Her mother, 69-year old Donna Rein, was killed on Sept. 3 when a Tesla came crashing through the rear of her home on Caird Way in Palm Harbor.

“She was my constant, she was my rock, she was my everything,” said Jones, as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “She affected so many people. Everyone, she would meet would just be in awe of her. She was like a rock star.”

Lindsey Jones says her mother touched so many lives.

Florida Highway Patrol Troopers say the driver of a brand new 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid was flying down Manning Road with four passengers in the car at the time when the driver didn’t stop at the stop sign.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins with FHP says the car literally flew into Rein’s home.

“It was airborne, and of course it entered the entire house,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “It blew out the wall, blew out part of the roof, and again caused fatal injuries to the elderly woman inside.”

Troopers identified the driver as 43-year old Vaughn Mongan. They say he is still recovering from his injuries and charges in the case are pending. The owner of the car, Travis Meisman, who was a passenger was also killed.

This is what is left of the Tesla. Photo courtesy of FHP.

Friends of Donna set up a fundraising page to help her daughters. Lindsey says the outpouring of support has been unbelievable.

“The community has been amazing. I don’t even feel like I deserve as much help as they’ve been giving us,” said Jones. “They’ve been providing food and this hotel and just flooding our social media with love for my mom.”

Lindsey lived in the home with her two young children, and ever since the wreck, has been living in a hotel room. She still can’t explain what happened to her kids. The family’s dog, Lilly, also died after the accident.

“She was 14, so she’s been a big part of our family for a very long time,” said Jones. “And we miss her like crazy.”

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