'Brothers' killed by exploding battery in Tesla smash

Heather Diaz
May 12, 2018

The NTSB will deploy its investigators to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to probe the accident on State Route A1A.

Two of them died as a result of the accident and one was at the hospital in an unknown condition as of yesterday.

Earlier, Tesla said its autopilot system was unlikely to have been a factor in the crash.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are examining the charred wreckage of a Tesla that caught fire after a fatal crash in Fort Lauderdale. It immediately caught fire, becoming fully engulfed in flames.

Barrett Riley was behind the wheel of the Tesla when it crashed and burst into flames. A third passenger was thrown from the vehicle but survived. The crash occurred at around 6:45 p.m.

This NTSB investigation primarily focus on emergency response in relation to the electric vehicle battery fire, including fire department activities and towing operations.

"Our feelings will be with the relatives and friends impacted via this tragedy", Tesla claimed in an statement. "The family who owned the auto has been a close friend of Tesla for many years, and this hits us particularly hard". Local authorities believe that that speeding might have been the cause.

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Tesla, based south of San Francisco in Palo Alto, California, did not respond to an immediate request, however issued a statement that it had so far not been able to retrieve a vehicle identification number which would allow the company to access the car's computer logs. Serious high-speed collisions can result in a fire, regardless of the type of vehicle.

The two investigations add to the growing list of concerns swirling around Tesla and the newest probe comes barely a week after the automaker's CEO Elon Musk came under fire for his handling of a conference call with stock analysts during which he dismissed several questions as "boring". NBC Miami reported a vigil was held for the killed teens on Wednesday night.

After a fatal Model X accident in March that involved the vehicle's battery catching fire, Tesla said the batteries in its vehicles are created to decrease the rate at which a fire can spread.

In the event of an accident, eight airbags protect front and rear occupants, and the battery system automatically disconnects from the main power source, Tesla has said previously in promotional materials for the auto.

The crash occurred about six weeks after a Model X crashed into a concrete barrier on Highway 101 in Mountain View.

"Tesla battery packs are designed so that in the rare circumstance a fire occurs, it spreads slowly so that occupants have plenty of time to get out of the auto", the company wrote on its website.

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