Surveillance video shows Tesla running red light before major crash

3 people seriously injured in Oct. 21 crash, police say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Surveillance video obtained Friday by Local 10 News shows the moment a white Tesla ran a red light in Miami Beach and crashed into an Infiniti SUV, seriously injuring three people inside the SUV.

Jose Manuel Soto, 38, surrendered to authorities Jan. 25 on three counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily injury.

According to a complaint affidavit, Soto was speeding on the MacArthur Causeway at 1:05 a.m. Oct. 21 when he ran a red light and crashed into the Infiniti, which was operating as a Lyft vehicle, as it was legally making a U-turn on Fountain Street.

Jose Soto, 38, is accused of running a red light Oct. 21, 2018, and crashing his Tesla into an Infiniti SUV, seriously injuring three people inside.

Police said the Tesla was traveling at 128 mph two seconds before the crash and 93 mph at the time of impact.

Authorities said Soto sped through the traffic light about six seconds after it had turned red and hit the brake 1 1/2 seconds before the crash.

The impact of the crash was so severe that the SUV was nearly cut in half by the Tesla, authorities said.

All three people inside the SUV suffered serious injuries and had to undergo surgery, police said.

According to the affidavit, the Lyft driver suffered multiple rib fractures, a collapsed right lung, a liver laceration, lumbar spine fractures and brain bleeding. He was in a coma for a couple of weeks.

Police said one of the back seat passengers suffered four fractured lower lumbar vertebrae, four fractured ribs on the right side, a partially collapsed right lung, a fractured right clavicle, two fractures on the right side of his pelvis and numerous cuts and bruises over his body. 

The second passenger suffered a fractured arm and a traumatic brain injury, police said.

According to the affidavit, Soto was contacted through his attorney after the investigation was completed and he was asked to surrender to authorities at the Miami Beach Police Department. 

Soto's attorney, Robert Reiff, released a statement to Local 10 News Friday, saying he doesn't believe his client committed a criminal offense.

"This is certainly a tragic accident," Reiff said. "However, we do not see where there is any evidence where this is a criminal act on Mr. Soto's behalf. He was not drinking and had not consumed any chemicals or controlled substances. As such, we do not see the basis for criminal charges, as opposed to civil infractions. However, at this early stage in the investigation, we will await further information and the opportunity to have our own experts analyze the evidence."

Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.