INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — New details emerged regarding a deadly car crash involving a Tesla that stopped in the middle of the interstate Sunday night.
Police believe the car failed due to mechanical issues. The driver Terry Siegel died in the crash. Now federal authorities are looking into the matter in what they described as unusual and unique circumstances.
“This Tesla vehicle, for some reason came to a stop in the middle of I-70 in the center lane. Right now we’re working to figure out why that happened,” said Jack Taylor, spokesperson for the Independence Police Department.
The Tesla caused a three-car crash, but only the driver of the Tesla died. His passenger was taken to the hospital and the people in the other two cars were not hurt.
In the past two weeks U.S. auto safety regulators launched an investigation into Tesla cars stopping on roads for no apparent reason, the issue being described as “Phantom Braking.”
The probe is looking into 2021 and 2022 model year cars. Siegel’s was a 2019.
“It just came to a stop. And like I said, we don’t know why yet. We’re hoping in the coming days, as we finish our investigation, we’ll be able to determine that. But right now, we don’t know,” said Taylor.
Investigators will pull data from the computer systems in the car.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement to FOX4:
“We have reached out to the Independence Police Department to gather more information on the crash, it is an unusual and unique crash.”Peter Knudson, NTSB Spokesperson
The only way to reach Tesla’s public relations team is to email, and in the past 24 hours, no one has responded to FOX4’s requests for a comment.
In the meantime, Taylor emphasized the importance of getting to the bottom of this, and the potential for more people being hurt if questions go unanswered.
“You’re looking at 75, 70 mile-an-hour speed vehicle coming to a stop that quick and even if it coasted to a stop on the highway, if it was stopped in the middle of the highway, you know, that can pose a serious issue” he said.
We reached out the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and they are reserving comment for the moment.