Arrests in crash that killed bicyclist, Tesla co-founder’s wife

Arrests in crash that killed bicyclist, Tesla co-founder's wife

Two people have been arrested in a June crash that killed a bicyclist on a rural Nevada road — and both of them are accused of lying to police about what happened.

The crash on June 19 killed Boryana Straubel, 38, of Washoe Valley, Nevada. She was the wife of JB Straubel, a co-founder of Tesla.

In June, the Nevada Highway Patrol released details of the crash but did not name the driver. Investigators say there were inconsistencies in the accounts given by the vehicle’s two occupants, who had remained at the scene after the crash.

After three months, the Nevada Department of Public Safety on Thursday announced the arrests of the pair, a 32-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman.

The two had told highway patrol officers that the woman was driving and the man was asleep in the front passenger seat. The statement about the arrest says that it was the man — who is not licensed — who was driving.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony reckless driving, false report/failure to report, failure of due care to avoid a bicycle, obstructing a public officer, driving without a valid license, resisting a public officer and conspiracy.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of false report/failure to report and conspiracy.

The crash occurred at 7:45 a.m. on Old Highway 395 (Bowers Mansion Road), just north of where it splits from the main highway at the south end of Washoe Lake.

Straubel was northbound in the bike lane. A southbound Ford Edge SUV reportedly crossed the double-yellow line and the northbound lane and struck her. She died at the scene.

Boryana Dineva Straubel, who grew up in Bulgaria, earned an economics degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011 and went on to work as a human resources executive at Tesla. There she met JB Straubel, one of the company’s co-founders and its chief technology officer. They were married in 2013.

She later got a master’s degree in management from Stanford and devoted herself to the Straubel Foundation, which she and her husband created in 2015 to promote environmental sustainability. One of her main projects was the Generation Collection, which makes jewelry from recycled metals.

In 2019, JB Straubel, who is now 45, stepped into an advisory role at Tesla so he could focus on Redwood Materials, the battery recycling company he had started. It is based in Carson City, Nevada.

Boryana Straubel is also survived by the couple’s two young sons.

The investigation of the fatal crash has been sent to the Washoe County district attorney for review.

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