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Three Tesla Employees Killed in Air Crash

Small plane owned by company employee crashes in Northern CA neighborhood.

by on Feb.17, 2010

Three employees of Tesla Motors, which produces the 2-seat Roadster, shown here, were killed in a Palo Alto small plane crash.

A small plane owned by a senior engineer with the maverick electric automaker, Tesla Motors, has crashed into a Northern California neighborhood killing three company employees.

The crash scattered debris in a Palo Alto community, igniting fires.  But there have been no reports of injuries on the ground.

The twin-engine Cessna 310 had just taken off from Palo Alto Airport, near Tesla headquarters, when it struck power lines obscured by thick fog, according to observers at the scene.  All three aboard were reported dead at the scene and Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, confirmed to the Associated Press that all were employees.

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While full identities were not immediately available, the doomed plane was owned by Air Unique, of Santa Clara, California.  In turn, that firm was owned by Doug Bourn, a senior Tesla engineer.  Initial reports said he was believed to be piloting the Cessna, though that has not been confirmed.