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 10:42 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 10:42 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%.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485230

Reported Deaths: 6554
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1006801585
Ramsey43047801
Dakota36254390
Anoka33274384
Washington22065255
Stearns18723201
St. Louis14794262
Scott13273107
Wright12517115
Olmsted1177988
Sherburne871572
Carver771040
Clay690387
Rice670091
Blue Earth593835
Kandiyohi579474
Crow Wing519681
Chisago498445
Otter Tail481870
Benton446190
Winona418049
Mower404131
Douglas392568
Nobles386847
Goodhue385568
Polk342762
McLeod339349
Beltrami337351
Morrison324247
Lyon313044
Itasca312746
Becker310941
Isanti305754
Carlton300149
Steele299711
Pine282016
Freeborn280523
Nicollet258141
Todd247830
Brown244637
Le Sueur235020
Mille Lacs227247
Cass219924
Waseca208917
Meeker207434
Martin189328
Wabasha18623
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15214
Renville149540
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134116
Wadena130920
Faribault122917
Aitkin118933
Sibley117310
Watonwan11728
Rock115714
Kanabec107419
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9438
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8025
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake73718
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68316
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Unassigned47968
Norman4768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40821
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362189

Reported Deaths: 5414
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58146549
Linn20653312
Scott18288207
Black Hawk16249291
Woodbury14961211
Johnson1383473
Dubuque13537194
Dallas1135890
Pottawattamie10765143
Story1021645
Warren555274
Clinton543284
Cerro Gordo533681
Webster518787
Marshall496272
Sioux494369
Buena Vista473236
Des Moines457661
Muscatine451191
Wapello4330108
Jasper416966
Plymouth394577
Lee375352
Marion359069
Jones294154
Henry292737
Carroll285548
Bremer280154
Crawford274735
Boone259630
Washington254147
Benton252854
Mahaska224346
Jackson221438
Dickinson217439
Tama213465
Kossuth208154
Clay193525
Hamilton192042
Delaware188839
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan185129
Fayette185035
Page183219
Hardin181039
Wright179731
Harrison179669
Cedar177923
Clayton168053
Butler166331
Mills163120
Floyd162740
Madison154518
Cherokee153935
Poweshiek153730
Hancock146829
Lyon145841
Allamakee145646
Iowa144423
Appanoose139147
Grundy139030
Jefferson138232
Winnebago138230
Cass134151
Calhoun133711
Mitchell130840
Louisa128241
Union126331
Chickasaw125213
Sac124218
Emmet121240
Shelby121033
Franklin118419
Humboldt117425
Guthrie116528
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard103121
Clarke100520
Unassigned9890
Keokuk98129
Monroe93128
Adair91928
Ida91032
Pocahontas85519
Davis82623
Monona81627
Greene77310
Lucas73821
Osceola70514
Worth6987
Taylor66412
Fremont5919
Decatur5789
Van Buren55918
Ringgold52020
Wayne48821
Audubon4869
Adams3264
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 10°
Mason City
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 11°
Albert Lea
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 12°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 7°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 7°
Mild conditions expected this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events