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More Information Emerges About Saturday’s Car Crash That Killed 3, Critically Injured 3

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024 | 6:51 am

New details are emerging about a high-speed crash that claimed the lives of three young men and left three other people critically injured early Saturday morning in Pasadena.

The tragic incident unfolded at approximately 2:38 a.m. when a Tesla Model 3 veered off the road and slammed into an unoccupied building in the 2300 block of Foothill Boulevard at Vista Ave., according to Pasadena Police Lt. Anthony Russo.

The Tesla, carrying six occupants westbound, was traveling at least double the speed limit when the driver ran a red light and lost control, police told told local tv news.

A view of the damage to the vacant building caused by the speeding Tesla containing six people when it drove into it at a high rate of speed. Three of the car’s occupants were killed, three were critically injured. The car is seen at left, near a police car and a coroner’s van. [Pasadena Now photo]
Investigators also told KABC-TV that it appears there were four people in the backseat, none of whom was wearing a seatbelt. 

The driver, identified as 22-year-old Mohed Samuel, was killed in the crash, along with passengers Stefan Michael Pfeiffer, 20, a student at Pasadena City College, as reported by KABC-TV, and Esrom Abraha, according to a caller to Pasadena Now. A person who said she knew him said officials misspelled the name of Moheb Samuels.

Los Angeles County Medical Examiner records confirm the deaths of “Mohed Samuel” and Pfeiffer. 

Samuel’s younger sister reportedly was seriously injured, along with another man and woman.

The scene of the collision [Open Street Maps]
The two women and one man who were transported to trauma centers were in critical condition, with one later stabilized, according to City spokesperson Lisa Derderian. The ages of the injured individuals were not immediately known, but their injuries appeared to be “survivable,” Derderian told City News Service.

“There was evidence at the scene that alcohol may have been involved, but it’s too soon for us to tell if the driver was impaired or if any of the occupants were under the influence,” Russo said, as reported by City News Service. 

Investigators plan to look into whether the Tesla’s autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash.

Russo said the driver lost control at a curve, hit a curb, and that sent the vehicle into the air. The Tesla then struck two city light poles, a utility pole, and a building, causing a widespread outage that left an estimated 500 homes and businesses in the dark.

During the response and field investigation, authorities closed the streets from Craig Avenue to Sierra Madre Boulevard along Foothill Boulevard and Vista Street north and south of Foothill for nearly 12 hours. 

The department’s major accident investigation team is still investigating the precise cause.

Mourning friends gathered at the crash site later in the day, according to KABC.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Pasadena Police at (626) 744-4241 or report information anonymously by contacting “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) via smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website

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