OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The family of a woman killed in an Osceola County crash last week has hired attorneys to investigate whether her Tesla malfunctioned and possibly pursue legal action, a representative with Orlando-based law firm Morgan and Morgan said.
Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said 29-year-old Samantha Jensen, of Apopka, was driving the 2019 Tesla Model 3 west on Osceola Polk Line Road near Shady Oak Drive around 4:45 p.m. when she veered into the eastbound lanes in an effort to pass traffic.
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While driving in the eastbound lanes, the front of Jensen's Tesla smashed into the front of an eastbound pickup truck, sending the truck over the top of the Tesla, according to the crash report.
The driver of a third vehicle was unable to avoid the crash and also hit the front of the Tesla, troopers said. That driver was not injured.
Jensen died at the scene, according to the report. The 56-year-old Riverview man driving the truck was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries, troopers said.
The crash remains under investigation, according to the Highway Patrol.
The representative with the law firm said their team is focusing on a possible autopilot or lane assist malfunction, since the crash report indicates that the car went into oncoming traffic, which they say raises questions about Tesla, a company known to promote its collision avoidance technology.
Attorneys Mike Morgan and Andrew Parker Felix specialize on automotive failures and product liability and are leading the investigation, according to the law firm representative.
The representative released the following statement regarding the investigation:
"We've been retained to investigate a recent death where a 2019 Tesla Model 3 unexpectedly crossed into oncoming traffic. We are in the early stages of this matter, but have hired experts to analyze the Tesla Autopilot and lane-assist features. We believe this type of crash should not happen in a Tesla -- or any vehicle that promotes the increased safety of autonomous driving and collision avoidance. We've further contacted Tesla's counsel and have demanded an immediate electronic download of the Model 3, which will provide us with a clearer picture of what happened. Out of respect for the family, we are not releasing the victim or family's names at this time."