INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (WDAF) – New details are emerging following a fatal car accident involving a Tesla that came to a stop in the middle of a Missouri highway on Sunday evening.
Police believe the car broke down due to mechanical problems. The driver, Terry Siegel, died in the crash. Federal authorities are now reviewing what they described as unusual and unique circumstances.
“This Tesla vehicle, for some reason, has stopped in the middle of I-70 in the center lane. At this time, we are working to understand why this happened,” spokesperson Jack Taylor said. of the Independence Police Department.
The Tesla caused a three-car accident, but only the driver of the Tesla died. His passenger was taken to hospital and the occupants of the other two cars were not injured.
In the past two weeks, US auto safety regulators have launched an investigation into Tesla cars stopping on the roads for no apparent reason, with the problem described as “phantom braking”.
The probe looks at cars from model years 2021 and 2022. Siegel was a 2019.
“It just stopped. And like I said, we don’t know why yet. We hope that in the next few days, once our investigation is complete, we can determine that. But at the moment we don’t know. not,” Taylor said.
Investigators will extract data from the car’s computer systems.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement:
“We have contacted the Independence Police Department to gather more information about the accident, it is an unusual and unique accident.”
NTSB Spokesman Peter Knudson
The only way to reach Tesla’s public relations team is by email, and in the past 24 hours no one has responded to requests for comment.
In the meantime, Taylor stressed the importance of fully investigating the fatal incident and the possibility that more people could be injured if questions remain unanswered.
“You see a vehicle at 75, 70 miles an hour stopping that fast and even if it stops on the freeway, if it stops in the middle of the freeway, you know, that can pose a serious problem,” he said.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration told Nexstar’s WDAF it is reserving comment on Tuesday.
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