Brother of R&B Artist Frank Ocean Killed in Thousand Oaks Tesla Crash
Ryan Breaux, the 18-year-old brother of Grammy-winning R&B artist Frank Ocean, and his friend, 20-year-old Ezekial (Zeek) Bishop, were killed in a Thousand Oaks car accident after the Tesla in which they were traveling veered off the roadway and crashed into a tree. According to a news report in The Acorn, the incident occurred early morning on Aug. 2 on Westlake Boulevard.
The Tesla was headed just north of Skelton Canyon Circle approaching Thousand Oaks Boulevard when the vehicle veered, crashed into the tree and burst into flames. When police arrived, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames. Both Breaux and Bishop were pronounced dead at the scene. It is not clear who was behind the wheel or if the vehicle was on Autopilot (Tesla’s semi-autonomous driver-assist feature). Police did say speed appears to have been a factor. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the families of Ryan Breaux and Ezekial Bishop for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
What Caused This Crash?
Based on this news report, it appears according to preliminary investigations that speed may have been a factor in this fatal crash. However, there are several unanswered questions here. Who was driving at the time? How fast was the vehicle going? Was Autopilot engaged at the time? Did a vehicle defect or mechanical malfunction cause the Tesla to veer out of control?
There’s also the question about the Tesla batteries and whether a battery defect may have triggered the fire after the crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating battery fires in all Model S and Model X vehicles made between 2012 and 2019 and sold in the U.S. The media has reported several incidents where Tesla batteries appeared to spontaneously burst into flames — sometimes while driving, other times while the car was parked.
In such cases, a knowledgeable auto defect lawyer will be able to examine the vehicle using accident reconstruction experts to determine precisely what caused the crash and/or the fire. It would be in victims’ or families’ best interests to preserve the vehicle in its crashed state so an expert can examine it for all possible evidence.