Cause of deadly Tesla crash in Pleasanton under investigation

Bay Area

PLEASANTON (KRON) — There are new questions about the safety of driving a Tesla — this comes following another fatal crash, this one over the weekend in Pleasanton.

Around 6 p.m. Saturday night, a Tesla Model S was heading southbound on Hacienda before the car jumped a curb, took out a traffic light and slammed into a brick wall in front of the Andares Apartments in Pleasanton. 

“And I went outside and the fire was on one side but within minutes the entire car was on fire,” said resident Nirav Parekh.

Residents say within a few minutes the car became fully engulfed in flames, thwarting attempts to rescue the driver who died.

“Somebody said get a knife and try cutting the seat belt but it just happened in minutes,” said another resident, Karuna Khera. 

Tire marks still line the street where the crash occurred.

Pleasanton police must now determine the cause

“Determine whether speed was a cause — we still have that to determine,” said Pleasanton Police Sgt. Benjamin Sarasua. 

If the car was speeding the question is who or what was responsible.

Just days before the crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  said it will review a driver’s petition alleging three Tesla models, the 3, the S and the X,  can suddenly accelerate on their own. 

The examination is one step before a formal investigation.  

However in a blog post Tesla maintains “there is no ‘unintended acceleration’ and that the car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake.”

The identity of the driver has not yet been released, in addition to speed investigators will also look and see if drugs and alcohol were involved.  

An autopsy is still pending. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tracking COVID-19 in the Bay Area

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News