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A Florida man who was driving his Tesla at least 116 mph (186 kph) before crashing into a house and killing two people in 2021 has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Vaughn Mongan, 45, of Palm Harbor, was sentenced Monday in Pinellas County court, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless driving with serious bodily injury.

Mongan was driving nearly four times the legal speed limit on a Tampa Bay-area road in September 2021 when he blew through a stop sign at a T intersection, hit a grassy embankment, crashed through a fence and slammed into the home, officials said. The speed limit on the road was 30 mph (48 kph). The vehicle was not on autopilot.

A passenger in the car and owner of the Tesla, Travis Meisman, died in the crash. Also killed were Donna Rein and her dog, who were inside the home. Three other passengers in the car were seriously injured.

The fatal crash also resulted in civil lawsuits. The estate of Meisman, the president of Quality T-Tops, pursued claims against his company and its insurer, and against Mongan. A passenger filed suit against Meisman’s estate.

Auto Owners Insurance Co., which held a policy on Meisman’s company and vehicles, filed suit in federal court, asking the court to declare that the Tesla was not one of the cars covered by the policy or uninsured motorist coverage and that the insurer has no duty to defend the lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew in July 2022 decided that a motion to dismiss the suit should be granted in part and denied in part.

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TOPICS FLORIDA PERSONAL AUTO

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