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Driver in Triple Fatality Pasadena Crash Had Suspended License, Pending DUI Case 

Tesla carrying 6 people collided with building at over 100 mph, killing 3 and injuring 3

Published on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | 3:12 pm

The driver of a Tesla involved in a crash that killed him and two other young men and injured three other people was driving on a suspended license after he failed to appear in court on a DUI charge, according to a Pasadena official.

Moheb Samuel, 22, was driving the 2018 Tesla Model 3 carrying five passengers when it crashed into a vacant building in the 2300 block of Foothill Boulevard at around 2:38 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.

City spokesperson Lisa Derderian said that Samuel had a pending California Highway Patrol DUI case from September 2023. He failed to appear for his March 2024 court date, resulting in a $26,000 warrant being issued. He was driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash.

The vehicle was traveling westbound at speeds exceeding 100 mph when it ran a red light, struck a curb, and collided with a power pole before hitting the building, police said.

Samuel and two passengers, Stefan Pfeiffer, 20, and a 22-year-old man whose name is being withheld, were killed in the crash. Three other passengers, Emerson Newquist, 20, Bella Ramirez, 18, and a 17-year-old female, who is Samuel’s younger sister, were transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Samuel’s sister was in the back seat of the Tesla and was seriously injured.

Some of the individuals involved in the crash had ties to Maranatha High School, and the previously planned Senior Ditch Day event was canceled. Counselors were available at Maranatha High School to support students and staff mourning the loss and serious injuries to their peers.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Emerson Newquist, one of the survivors, with living and medical expenses as he undergoes physical therapy and is unable to continue working.

Police released video footage of the crash as part of their ongoing investigation. The crash caused a power outage affecting 663 residents and businesses, which was fully restored by Saturday afternoon. The building struck by the Tesla sustained significant damage and has been yellow-tagged.

Investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor, but toxicology results are pending. Three of the four passengers in the rear compartment were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected during the crash.

Anyone with information related to the case is encouraged to contact the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 or report information anonymously through “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

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