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Fatal Tesla Model X crash, fire prompt NTSB inquiry

by Justin King

The California Highway Patrol says the Model X crashed into a highway divider and two other vehicles. It is unclear if the vehicle was operating with Autopilot active.

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a field investigation after a Tesa Model X was involved in a fatal crash in California.

The victim was driving the Model X when "for unknown reasons" he struck a highway barrier separating the SR-85 southbound connector and US-101 southbound lanes near Mountain View last week, according to the California Highway Patrol.

After hitting the barrier, the EV was struck by two other vehicles including a Mazda and Audi before catching fire. The driver of the Model X "sustained major injuries" and later died at the hospital.

The CHP posted images of the crash scene and of a Google Street View perspective of the type of highway barrier struck by the Model X. Investigators do not yet know if the vehicle had Autopilot engaged at the time of the accident.

This is a Google Maps image of the location where the collision occurred. We don't have a current picture available but this is the type of barrier the Tesla collided with at freeway speeds. pic.twitter.com/cuXP4ivjdC

— CHP Redwood City (@CHP_RedwoodCity) March 23, 2018

"We have been deeply saddened by this accident, and we have offered our full cooperation to the authorities as we work to establish the facts of the incident," Tesla said in a statement.

Aside from questions surrounding possible Autopilot engagement, authorities are also looking into details of the battery fire.

This is a Google Maps image of the location where the collision occurred. We don't have a current picture available but this is the type of barrier the Tesla collided with at freeway speeds. pic.twitter.com/cuXP4ivjdC

— CHP Redwood City (@CHP_RedwoodCity) March 23, 2018