Last week, two Florida teens were killed and another was injured when their Tesla Model S vehicle went off the roadway, struck a concrete wall and burst into flames. The single-vehicle crash happened in a residential neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a posted speed limit of 35 mph. Both the driver and the front passenger, who was ejected from the vehicle, died at the scene. The rear passenger was also ejected from the vehicle and transported to the hospital following the crash. Although the incident is still under investigation, early reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Tesla indicate that the vehicle’s speed, rather than the partial self-driving Autopilot system, was the key factor in the crash. According to Tesla, if the Autopilot system had been engaged, the vehicle’s speed would have been limited to 35 mph or less in the residential neighborhood, which is inconsistent with eyewitness statements. Following the crash, the NTSB announced that they were sending four officials to investigate the fire that broke out after the vehicle hit the concrete wall.
This is the second time in recent months that a Tesla crash has drawn the attention of the NTSB. In March, the driver of a Tesla Model X was killed when his vehicle crashed into a concrete barrier and burst into flames in Mountain View, California. The vehicle was reportedly in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash. Last week, another driver suffered a broken ankle when he rear-ended a truck in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. According to witnesses, the driver crashed into the truck at 60 mph and did not brake prior to impact. Police are still investigating whether the Autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the incident. There is no indication that the Tesla driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact at attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or 1-888-229-5094 for your free consultation.