Tesla Not Guilty in Teenager's Fatal Crash in 2018, Jury Says

by Eva Fox July 19, 2022

Tesla Not Guilty in Teenager's Fatal Crash in 2018, Jury Says

Image Credit: Shutterstock / betto rodrigues

A jury on Monday found Tesla not guilty of a fatal crash that killed two teenagers. Responsibility for the crash is attributed to Barrett Riley and his father.

A federal jury in Florida sided with Tesla, finding that the manufacturer was not at fault for causing the accident. The jury placed 90% blame for the crash on Barrett Riley, who was driving at 116 mph on a curve with a 25 mph speed limit when he lost control of the car. They also placed 9% of the blame on James Riley, the teen's father.

Barrett Riley was speeding down a dangerous stretch of road in Fort Lauderdale on May 8, 2018, when he lost control of his car. According to court documents, “the car mounted a concrete curb, hit two walls on the west side of the road, crossed five lanes of traffic while rotating, and then hit another curb and a light pole before coming to a stop. The car's batteries ignited and caused a fire that killed Riley and his passenger in the front seat, Edgar Monserratt Martinez. A third passenger, who was sitting in the rear seat without a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and survived,” reported Law360.

According to court records, Riley had a history of driving too fast, including a 112 mph speeding ticket just two months before his fatal crash.

The jury also found Tesla negligent in the crash, placing 1% blame on the manufacturer, and awarded the family $10.5 million. The company said that no car could have survived such a violent collision at high speed.

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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