FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WHDH) – Federal investigators continue to probe a fatal crash in Fort Lauderdale that claimed the lives of two high school seniors.
Family and loved ones of the victims – identified by police as Barrett Riley and Edgar Monserratt Martinez – mourned their tragic deaths while three agencies investigate the crash.
The mangled Tesla Riley was driving could be seen under a Fort Lauderdale Police Department tent at a salvage yard.
On Wednesday, several Pine Crest School students held a memorial for the two teens.
“We just lit candles in memory of them and to honor their lives,” said student Christopher Martinez. “‘Cause we’re a community, so come together to help each other out in this time of need.”
The lone survivor of the crash, Alexander Berry, who was ejected from the vehicle, is still recovering from his injuries.
Witnesses said the car collided with a wall along Seabreeze Boulevard and then caught on fire.
“Here came the car, sideswiped one wall and then hit the other one,” said witness Larry Groshart. “It burst into flames when it hit the wall.”
Other witnesses tried to help, but the flames were too hot.
Witness Wendy Mascolo stopped to pray with the victim’s friends, who were following behind.
“They were distraught. It broke my heart, it really did,” she said. “I stayed on scene ’till the parents got here. I prayed with everybody. I didn’t know what else to do.”
The National Transportation Safety Board has joined local law enforcement with their investigation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating.
Tesla released a statement saying, “We are working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to the local authorities. We have not yet been able to retrieve the logs from the vehicle, but everything we have seen thus far indicates a very high-speed collision and that Autopilot was not engaged.”
Police believe speed was a factor.
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