PHOENIX - Federal traffic safety investigators have opened an investigation into a deadly Tesla crash that killed three people, including a popular Arizona musician.
The crash, according to our sister station FOX 11 in Los Angeles, happened on May 12 along the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.
According to officials, a preliminary investigation shows a vehicle that was heading east on Pacific Coast Highway struck a curb, and collided with some construction equipment located on the south side of the road. The three people in the car died at the scene. Three construction workers also suffered minor injuries.
Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether the car was operating on a partially automated driving system.
On Tesla's website, company officials state the car's autopilot and full self-driving capability "are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment. While these features are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous."
One of the victims was lead vocalist of Tempe-based band
One of the three people killed in the wreck is 32-year-old Andy Chaves of the band Katastro. Chaves, who was Katastro's lead vocalist, formed the Tempe-based alternative band in 2007.
At the Marquee Theatre in Phoenix, fans have come out throughout the week, and added to a memorial set up in memory of the singer. Katastro and their music made a name for themselves, both in the Phoenix area music scene and across the country. The sudden death of the band’s frontman has left thousands of fans devastated.
"Even though you don't know somebody super close, you still have a connection with them through their music and their lyrics, so it was really heartbreaking not just for the community and for his family and band, but for the music community in general. This is a huge loss," said Mo, a midday host with Phoenix radio station KDKB-FM 93.3FM.
Radio host remembers musician
The crash that killed Chaves also killed another man and woman. It is unknown who was driving, or how fast the car was going.
"[Chaves] was just funny, and he has so many goofy stories about going on tour," said Mo.
Mo, who hosts a program showcasing local artists, is familiar with the band and Chaves. She says she is still in shock, as are thousands of fans who have been moved by his music.
"Andy was, like, the glue for that band," said Mo. "They all grew up together and they believed in Andy, in each other."
Katastro's last concert took place earlier in May in Colorado, and several tour dates were scheduled throughout the summer months.
In the aftermath of the deadly crash, the surviving members of the band made various tweets about their loss. It is unknown if the band will go on without Chaves.
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Scene of the crash in California that killed Katastro frontman Andy Chaves