Tesla Driver Killed After Car Loses Power, Is Hit By Other Vehicles: Police

A 74-year-old man died when his Tesla was involved in a crash after it lost power in the central lane of a highway in Missouri, according to police.

Independence Police Department officers said the fatal crash happened westbound on Interstate 70 (I-70), near Little Blue Parkway, at about 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, February 27.

In a Monday Facebook update, the IPD identified the victim as Terry L. Siegel, a resident of Lake Winnebago, in Cass County southeast of Kansas City. Police said Siegel had been inside a 2019 Tesla at the time of the crash.

The update added: "The initial investigation indicates that Terry and his passenger were in a Tesla when a mechanical issue caused the vehicle to lose power and stop in the roadway.

"As a result, approaching vehicles were unable to avoid colliding with them. It appears that everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt." Officers have since launched an investigation into the crash, as well as the events leading up to it.

Newsweek has contacted Tesla and the IPD for comment.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MDT), last year 1,007 people died in traffic crashes in the state.

The MDT reported the death toll represented a two percent increase on the 2020 total, and was the first time since 2006 that traffic deaths surpassed 1,000 in the state.

Last month, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) released dashcam footage that showed a doctor's autopilot-driven Tesla hitting a parked police vehicle, which then struck a sheriff's deputy.

In the clip, enforcement officials could be seen standing on one side of U.S. Highway 64, one from the NCSHP and another from the Nash County Sheriff's Office.

Moments later, a state highway patrol car that had been struck by the Tesla came into view and bumped into the sheriff's deputy.

But as the sheriff's deputy was being hit, the NCSHP officer pulled him out of the way and towards safety.

The car could then be seen rolling into a ditch at the edge of the highway. Photos taken after the accident showed the vehicle suffered significant damage. While the crash itself happened in the summer of 2020, the clip was only shared last month.

Elon Musk's electric car company last year said it would recall 578,607 vehicles due to the potential danger they posed to pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said several vehicles failed to comply with safety standards.

According to Reuters, Tesla recalled some 2020-2022 Model S, Model X, Model Y and 2017-2022 Model 3 vehicles.

Stock image of police car
Stock image of police car. The crash happened when the Tesla being driven seemingly ran out of power, according to police. Getty