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

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

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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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About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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