NHTSA Looking into Tesla Crash in California
Written by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Published Feb. 21, 2023
A crash involving a Tesla that collided with a firetruck on Feb. 18 in California has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to seek more information.
The NHTSA said it contacted Tesla for additional information regarding the collision, according to Reuters, which involved a Tesla Model S, the company’s flagship sedan, and a firetruck parked on Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County, CA.
According to a Twitter post from the Fire Department in Contra Costa, a firetruck was blocking lanes as a crew cleaned up debris from a previous accident. The Tesla slammed into the stationary firetruck. Four firefighters were inside the truck when the Model S hit it. They were treated for minor injuries, but the driver of the Tesla died and a passenger had to be extricated and taken to the hospital.
Assistant Chief of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Tracie Dutter said the firetruck had its lights on and was parked diagonally across the northbound lanes to protect first responders.
The NHTSA is likely asking for more information as it currently has a special crash investigation into 830,000 Tesla vehicles, which aims to investigate “vehicle crashes with in-road or roadside first responders.”
The agency upgraded the investigation to an “Engineering Analysis” in July 2022: “The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation.”
There is no evidence or indication from local authorities as to what caused the crash. Many media reports immediately blame Tesla’s Autopilot suite, but police and firefighters have not revealed any information, nor have they officially named the cause of the crash. Information regarding the driver has also not been released.