Tesla Employees Killed in Palo Alto Plane Crash

Three employees of electric car company Tesla Motors were killed today, following the crash of a small plane in East Palo Alto, California.

Japolnik reports that the twin-engine Cesna was piloted by a “high-ranking official at Tesla,” but did not give his or her name. The San Francisco Chronicle adds that Tesla engineer Doug Bourn is the plane’s owner, but it is unclear if he was either piloting or aboard as a passenger.

The crash did not cause injuries on the ground, but did lead to both residential damage and power outages.

We reported last week on Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk’s use of personal aircraft — including several trips to Washngton, D.C. (Musk was not on today’s flight). More to the point, we were critical of the practice and of Tesla’s reimbursement while simultaneously receiving government loans.

But, to be clear, that has nothing to do with today’s tragedy. We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and families of those who died today. Truly terrible.