Feds investigating fatal Tesla Model 3 crash in Florida

Two federal agencies have dispatched teams to investigate a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model 3 in Delray Beach, Fla., on Friday.

According to the police report, a tractor-trailer was crossing State Road 7 to make a left turn when the Model 3, driven by Jeremy Beren Banner, 50, slammed into the side of it, which tore off the car’s roof as the rest of the vehicle continued underneath the trailer.

Banner was pronounced dead at the scene. Images from WPTV show the red sedan sitting on the median of the divided road with a sheet covering its cabin.

It is not yet known if Banner was in control of the vehicle at the time of the collision or if it was operating in its Autopilot mode.

The Delray Beach intersection where the accident occurred.

The Delray Beach intersection where the accident occurred. (Google Earth)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are now collaborating with local authorities to investigate the crash.

Tesla issued a statement on Friday saying it is “deeply saddened to hear about this incident,” and that it is “reaching out to the authorities to offer our collaboration.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has not yet commented on the crash, but tweeted on Sunday that the company would be revealing its new Model Y crossover on March 14.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are similar to those of a fatal 2016 crash in Gainesville, Fla., where a Tesla Model S set to Autopilot failed to recognize a white tractor-trailer that was crossing a divided highway in front of it, killing its driver, Joshua Brown, 40.

Brown's Tesla Model S had the roof sheared off over the passenger compartment.

Brown's Tesla Model S had the roof sheared off over the passenger compartment. (NTSB)

An NTSB investigation found that Brown hadn’t manually operated the car for two minutes prior to impact, and the agency chided Tesla’s method for monitoring driver awareness.

NHTSA is also investigating a fatal Feb. 24 Model S crash in Davie, Fla., that resulted in a fire and the vehicle’s battery reigniting several times following the accident, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report