NTSB opens an investigation into Tesla crash in Florida

  • A Tesla Model S crashed and caught fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, killing two teenage males and sending a third to the hospital.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is opening an investigation, which it said will likely focus on the electric vehicle battery fire.
  • Tesla said it is cooperating with authorities.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday it is sending a team to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to investigate a fatal crash involving a 2014 Tesla Model S.

Two teenagers were killed and a third was injured when the vehicle crashed on State Route A1A.

The agency said it expects the primary focus of this investigation to be the electric vehicle battery fire. The NTSB said it does not currently expect autopilot to be part of its investigation.

All three occupants in the vehicle involved in the crash Tuesday night in Fort Lauderdale were 18-year-old males, NBC Miami reported. A report from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department released Wednesday afternoon said the vehicle's speed is believed to have been a factor in the accident.

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by this tragedy," Tesla said in a statement. "We are working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to local authorities."

Police said the driver who died was Barrett Riley and the passenger who died was Edgar Monserratt Martinez, according to NBC Miami. Alexander Berry was named as the passenger who was ejected and injured, the report said.

There have been a few high-profile crashes involving Tesla cars, including some where Autopilot was engaged. Most recently, a man crashed his Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California, in March.

The ensuing investigation led to a falling out between Tesla and the National Transportation Safety Board, which was looking into the crash. The NTSB said Tesla had improperly released information related to the crash before it had been properly vetted. Tesla had said it withdrew from the investigation, and that the agency had violated its own rules by releasing "incomplete information to the media."

Read the full story at NBC Miami.