Tesla execs die in plane crash

EAST PALO ALTO - Three employees of Tesla Motors were killed in a plane crash Wednesday morning in East Palo Alto.KTVU News in Oakland reported that at least one of the victims was a "high-ranking executive" with Tesla. As of early Thursday, Tesla has not identified the victims. Media reports have identified the owner of the plane as Douglas Bourn, of Santa Clara, but it is not known if he was on board. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was not on the plane. "Three Tesla employees were on board a plane that crashed in East Palo Alto early (Wednesday) morning," Musk said in a written statement. "We are withholding their identities as we work with the relevant authorities to notify the families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company, and this is a tragic day for us." The crash occurred at 7:54 a.m. following take off from Palo Alto Airport. The plane was described as a Cesna 310 that was heading towards the Hawthorne Airport. Musk is also founder of SpaceX, a space techonolgy company that operates in Hawthorne. Tesla, which has begun the process of opening a vehicle production facility here, is headquartered in San Carlos, about 15 minutes north of Palo Alto. "Our hearts break for Tesla. We feel that Tesla is part of the Downey family," Downey Councilman Mario Guerra said Wednesday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

********** Published: February 19, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 44