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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday the Tesla Model S that crashed and burned May 8th in Fort Lauderdale was traveling at 116 miles per hour, three seconds before impact.
Two seconds before impact, the car was traveling 108 mph, the NTSB said.
The preliminary report said that the Tesla crashed into a wall twice and erupted in flames.
The report also indicated the car slowed to 86 mph as its airbags deployed and inflated.
Two people were killed in the crash, the driver, 18-year-old Barrett Riley, and the front seat passenger 18-year-old Edgar Monserratt. The medical examiner ruled that Riley died of thermal injuries and Monserratt died of blunt force trauma and thermal injuries. Alexander Berry, 18, who was in the back seat, was ejected on impact. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center.
CBS 4 News reported several weeks ago that Riley’s family said they modified the vehicle to only travel at a top speed of 85 miles per hour after Riley received a speeding ticket in March for going 112 miles per hour.
The report concluded both Riley and Monserrat had their seatbelts on.
The NTSB is paying close attention to the high voltage lithium-ion battery in the vehicle.
The agency is looking at why the battery reignited twice after firefighters doused the vehicle with hundreds of gallons of foam.
The NTSB said in the report that they are still studying all aspects of the crash, including at how the lithium-ion battery was extinguished by fire crews and also looking at the maintenance records for the Tesla Model S.
This crash is having implications on Tesla’s safety engineering.
The company would not comment on the NTSB preliminary report, but they did confirm that they have dedicated a new speed limit safety feature to the memory of Barrett Riley.
Published reports show the speed limit feature will allow Tesla owners to limit how fast the vehicles can go.
The NTSB says they plan to make safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes in the future.