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Final report from high-speed Tesla crash indicates damaged battery caused deadly fire

2 teens were killed in the single vehicle accident


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The final report has been released on the fiery Tesla crash that killed two teenagers in Fort Lauderdale last year.

The driver, Barrett Riley, and a passenger, Edgar Monserratt Martinez, both 18 years old, were killed.

Barrett Riley and Edgar Martinez, both 18 years old, were killed in a fiery Tesla crash in May 2018.
Barrett Riley and Edgar Martinez, both 18 years old, were killed in a fiery Tesla crash in May 2018. (WPLG)

A third teenager, Alexander Berry, who was a passenger in the back seat, survived after being ejected from the car.

According to investigators, the electric vehicle's design shares some of the blame in the fatal crash that happened in May 2018.

Several other key points were made in the report, such as both the driver and front seat passenger died of thermal injuries, meaning they were killed in the fire that was a result of the crash, not the crash itself.

The report states that contributing to the severity of the injuries was the post-crash fire that originated in the vehicle's crash-damaged lithium-ion battery.

Part of the NTSB report on a fatal Tesla crash that claimed the lives of two teenagers in May 2018.
Part of the NTSB report on a fatal Tesla crash that claimed the lives of two teenagers in May 2018. (WPLG)

According to the report, the teen driver’s father had the Tesla dealership put the car into loaner mode, which restricted the car’s maximum speed to 85 mph, in March.

While the car was at the dealership in April, the teen driver had the car returned to normal operating conditions, without his father's knowledge.

The car was traveling at 116 mph moments before impact, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed after the crash.

Also confirmed in the report is that the Tesla's damaged battery ignited for a second time when it was being loaded onto a tow truck.

The report also clears the driver of having any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.


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