Tesla crash: Officials likely to probe if Autopilot driving system played role in most recent fatality

A second federal agency is dispatching investigators to a fatal crash involving a Tesla electric car that drove beneath a semitrailer that was crossing State Road 7.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has authority to seek recalls, issue fines and set regulations, said Saturday that it will send a “field team” to West Delray, where 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner was killed in the crash Friday.

The crash is eerily similar to another one involving a Tesla in 2016 near Gainesville.

A different agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, said Friday that it would send a three-person team to the crash. The NTSB makes recommendations to prevent crashes.

Both agencies likely will be looking into whether Tesla’s Autopilot semiautonomous driving system was in use on Banner’s Tesla Model 3 at the time. Neither agency could say Saturday whether the system was in use.

It is unclear what NTSB investigators will specifically look at, Terry Williams, a spokesman for the NTSB, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Sunday evening.

“We’re still gathering all the facts,” Williams said. “We’re going to be looking at all aspects.”

NHTSA said in a statement that it “will take additional actions if appropriate,” without specifying what those actions could be.