Tesla claims missing safety barrier played role in deadly crash on Highway 101 in Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Tesla has released a response to the single vehicle crash last Friday that killed the owner of a Model X on Highway 101 in Mountain View.

In a blog post released overnight, Tesla says one of the reasons the crash on southbound Hwy 101 at the Highway 85 carpool flyover in Mountain View was so severe is the safety barrier, known as a crash attenuator, was not there when this crash happened.

The driver, 38-year-old Wei Huang, was killed.

VIDEO: Fiery Tesla crash kills driver in Mountain View
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A 38-year-old man was killed when his Tesla crashed and caught on fire in Mountain View.

They shared photos from a witness of the crash who commutes daily past the location on southbound Hwy 101 at the 85 carpool flyover in Mountain View. They say the image shows what the barrier looked like when the crash attenuator was in proper condition and what it looked like the day prior to the crash.

Tesla believes it was either removed or crushed in a prior crash without being replaced.

Tesla says they've never seen this level of damage to a Model X in any other crash.

RELATED: Tesla driver killed in fiery crash on Highway 101 in Mountain View identified

NTSB investigators want to know if the car's "auto pilot" system was activated at the time of the crash.

In its blog post, Tesla says its data shows its car owners have driven this same stretch of highway with auto-pilot engaged roughly 85,000 times since 2015.

ABC7 News reached out to Caltrans to find out why there was no crash attenuator last Friday and they say they are looking into it.

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