NTSB to investigate Tesla crash in Florida that left 2 dead

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NTSB investigators are traveling to Coral Gables next week, where a Tesla Model 3 hit a tree off the road on Monday.

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Coral Gables, Fla. Federal officials said Friday they would investigate a raging Tesla crash that killed two people in South Florida.

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Three investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are traveling next week to Coral Gables, where a Tesla Model 3 veered off a roadway and crashed into a tree, the agency announced on Twitter.

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“We always look particularly closely at new technology,” said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudsen.

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Officials said the NTSB investigation will focus on the operation of the vehicle and the post-crash fire, which devoured the car.

Tesla vehicles don’t use gasoline that can increase the risk of major fires after a crash, but the company’s first responders’ guidance includes warnings about battery fires. Tesla representatives have said a high-speed collision could cause a car to catch fire. The Coral Gables accident occurred near a residential intersection, and it was not immediately known whether speed was a factor.

It was also not clear whether the car’s partially automatic driving system was active at the time of the accident. The government is investigating Tesla’s system. Over the past five years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent investigators to 31 accidents involving vehicles with partially automated driver-assistance systems, including 25 involving Teslas.

Officials said the NTSB will begin its investigation on Monday, complete the on-scene work within a week and submit a preliminary report in about 30 days.

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Coral Gables Police have identified the victims as a 20-year-old man, who was driving, and a 19-year-old woman. Coral Gables is located southwest of downtown Miami.


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