A California family has hired a well-known Florida law firm in the wake of a Tesla crash in Florida that left two dead last week.
Mary Lou and Karl Seelandt of Lompoc, Calif., died July 6 after their 2015 Tesla slammed into the rear of a freight truck at a rest stop near Gainesville, Fla.
The Seelandt family has hired Orlando-based Morgan and Morgan personal injury attorneys, the firm confirmed Thursday.
"We are in the very early stages of our investigation to determine what caused this deadly collision and have requested Tesla preserve all evidence related to this matter," the firm said.
"We are awaiting the crash report as well as audio and video that were recorded in the collision, which will provide us with a clear picture of what happened. We will work to help the family understand why they have lost loved ones and seek justice on their behalf.”
Firm founder John Morgan is a confidante of President Joe Biden's brother Frank and helped spearhead a successful campaign to raise Florida's minimum wage to $15.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said last week it would be investigating the crash. It is not clear what caused it, and Florida Highway Patrol has told media it did not know whether Tesla's self-driving system was engaged.
Tesla reported 273 vehicle crashes since July 2021 involving advanced driving assistance systems like automated driving — more than any other automaker, federal data released last month showed. NHTSA has opened a total of 30 investigations into Tesla crashes since 2016.
Following the release of the data, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey published a letter calling for greater regulation of cars equipped with automated driving systems.
"We urge NHTSA to use all its investigative and regulatory authorities to shed needed light on this out-of-control industry and impose guardrails to prevent more deadly crashes," they wrote.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the Seelandt family.