SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory 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
34° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 24°
Kokomo
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 20°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 24°
Danville
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 19°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 19°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 24°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 24°
Logansport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Active Start To The Work Week
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

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