A Tesla slams into another fire truck as safety liaison quits & chief engineer takes leave of absence

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Updated May 19, 2018

A fire truck stopped at a red light in Utah was rear-ended Friday by a Tesla Model S that had been traveling at highway speeds.

The accident in South Jordan, which left the Tesla driver with a broken ankle, marks the second time a Tesla has slammed into the back of a stationary fire truck.

The first collision, which also involved a Model S, occurred in Southern California in January. The driver admitted to not being in control of the vehicle and instead relying on Autopilot when at 65 mph he rear-ended a fire truck that had come to a stop during heavy traffic on I-405 near Los Angeles. No injuries were reported.

Friday’s wreck in Utah, about 15 miles south of Salt Lake City, has investigators looking into whether or not the car’s 28-year-old driver had been using Autopilot at the time she struck the Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck.

“For unknown reasons, the Tesla failed to stop for the traffic at the red light and ran into the back of the Unified Fire Authority vehicle at 60 miles per hour,” Sergeant Samuel Winkler with the South Jordan Police Department told fox13now.com.

The news comes as the Wall Street Journal reports tonight that the auto company’s safety liaison, Matthew Schwall, has left for competitor Waymo and Tesla chief engineer, Doug Field, has taken a leave of absence. Last Wednesday, just a day after a deadly and fiery Model S accident in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. which, according to witnesses, fatally trapped two high school seniors inside the burning car, investment group CtW asked Tesla shareholders to replace three of its board members “who will be less likely to defer to defiant demigod CEO Elon Musk,” wired.com reported.

Battery maker Panasonic, which has been producing lithium-ion batteries alongside Tesla at its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada has now become hesitant in entering future deals with the embattled automaker, according to cnbc.com. The two companies had been planning on opening a battery factory together in China.

Musk, who has come under growing scrutiny following deadly accidents involving Autopilot and lackluster Model 3 production, has managed to placate company board members and investors for years despite the fact that Tesla has not turned a profit in its 15-year history.

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