SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning View Alerts

NTSB investigating emergency response to Tesla crash

The National Transportation Safety Board is launching a probe that will focus on how first responders handled a fatal...

Posted: May 10, 2018 11:42 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 11:42 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board is launching a probe that will focus on how first responders handled a fatal crash of a Tesla Model S in Florida this week.

Two people died Tuesday evening in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after a gray 2014 Tesla Model S ran off the road and collided with a concrete wall. The vehicle then caught on fire, engulfing the car in flames, local police said.

The NTSB said in a statement Wednesday that the investigation will "primarily focus on emergency response in relation to the electric vehicle battery fire, including fire department activities and towing operations."

The driver and front seat passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. A third passenger in the back seat survived and was taken to the hospital, authorities said.

Police said the car's speed was likely a factor in the incident. The NTSB did not indicate that it suspects first responders did something wrong. Nor does it indicate that something was wrong with the vehicle.

Related: Elon Musk spends $10 million of his own money on Tesla shares

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement that the "NTSB has a long history of investigating emerging transportation technologies, such as lithium ion battery fires in commercial aviation, as well as a fire involving the lithium ion battery in a Chevrolet Volt."

"The goal of these investigations is to understand the impact of these emerging transportation technologies when they are part of a transportation accident," Sumwalt said.

Tesla said in a statement that it is "working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to the local authorities."

"We have not yet been able to retrieve the logs from the vehicle, but everything we have seen thus far indicates a very high-speed collision and that Autopilot was not engaged," Tesla said.

The NTSB also said in its statement Wednesday that it "does not, at this time, anticipate autopilot being a part of this investigation."

Several crashes have occurred in the past with Tesla's Autopilot function engaged, including a fatal incident in March.

Related: Tesla clashes with Feds over autopilot crash investigation

The Autopilot feature is not fully autonomous. It handles some driving functions, but not all, and drivers are expected to stay engaged when the feature is activated. Tesla said after the March incident that the driver was given "several visual and one audible" cue from the vehicle to grab the wheel "earlier in the drive" before the crash.

The crash in March generated friction between the NTSB and Tesla. The agency chided Tesla for public comments it made about the crash. But Tesla blasted the agency, saying it wanted to "correct misleading claims."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently lashed out at reporters who have written articles "that would lead people to believe that autonomy is less safe."

"Because people might actually turn it off, and then die," Musk said during an earnings call last month. "So anyway, I'm very upset by this."

Tesla has repeatedly referred to a government report from January 2017, which has been widely criticized, that found that Autopilot reduced crash rates for Tesla by 40%.

Lafayette
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Kokomo
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 31°
Lafayette
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
Danville
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Logansport
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 33°
Brief Snow & Freezing Ahead....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708067

Reported Deaths: 13224
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion964881721
Lake51704945
Allen39185672
Hamilton34497405
St. Joseph34075540
Elkhart27306432
Vanderburgh22077394
Tippecanoe21818212
Porter17940299
Johnson17526374
Hendricks16803310
Clark12688190
Madison12350337
Vigo12211244
Monroe11462166
LaPorte11140204
Delaware10356184
Howard9662211
Kosciusko9127114
Hancock7979139
Bartholomew7888155
Warrick7684155
Floyd7560176
Wayne6899198
Grant6842171
Boone6552100
Morgan6395138
Dubois6084117
Marshall5783108
Dearborn570076
Cass5684102
Henry5577100
Noble542483
Jackson493269
Shelby479095
Lawrence4342118
Gibson428789
Harrison428170
Clinton419053
Montgomery417986
DeKalb410984
Whitley379639
Huntington379480
Miami372565
Knox366389
Steuben365257
Putnam352660
Jasper350546
Wabash347778
Adams337952
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308354
Daviess289299
Wells286381
Decatur278992
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268833
Scott261153
Clay253444
LaGrange253070
Randolph235680
Washington230931
Spencer227931
Jennings224747
Fountain208745
Sullivan207842
Starke204352
Owen192256
Fulton191739
Jay186129
Carroll185820
Perry180336
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113645
Newton103934
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82815
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0409

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events