Danville man who died when Tesla drove into pond engineer by day, musician by night

Friends of Keith Leung say he was a force  in the world of musical theater in the Bay Area.

On Monday,  they mourned their loss  as authorities identified him as the driver who was killed when his Tesla Model S veered off Crow Canyon Road in Castro Valley and crashed into a pond.

It was submerged  for more than 24 hours.

Those who knew the 34-year-old man described him as talented and responsible.

Friends told KTVU they  last saw Leung Saturday night. 

They say he was an "engineer by day" and a "professional musician" at night.  One friend says he was with Leung just hours before the crash.  He and others who performed with Leung are struggling with the loss of a loyal friend.  They say music was his passion. 

David Kelly said he last saw Leung after they performed together at Hillbarn Theater in Foster City around 11 p.m. Saturday. The next afternoon, Sunday, his bandmates said he didn't show up for a scheduled performance.

"All of us that know him , never know him to miss a show without telling anybody.  Once we saw that empty chair, we all started to get really worried," said Kelly. .

 He said he filed a missing person report with police after confirming with Leung's father in Danville that Keith never made it home Saturday night. 

 Friends say their hearts sank when they learned that Leung was found in his mangled Tesla model pulled from a pond in Castro Valley along Crow Canyon Road.

"I just want more details, like what actually happened," said Adrienne Sancho, a friend, "I'm just really scared and shocked." 

The pond was along Leung's route home from his performance.

The CHP  says a property owner reported that his fence had been damaged by a vehicle and investigators were able to determine that the Tesla had plunged into a murky pond.

 A dive team from the Alameda County Sheriff's Department was deployed to extricate it. It was a time-consuming task.

"We had never dealt with a submerged car, an electric car  like that before.  We did take precautions, make the proper phone calls, that we're okay to touch the car,  that our  divers were safe," said Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokeswoman  with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.  

Friends say they've known Leung since they were members of the UC Berkeley band.

They say they  have no idea how this could have happened.  They describe Leung as responsible and safety minded, that he supported his parents and he mentored high school students. 

"Not reckless at all, very careful.  On Saturday, I actually took a ride in his car.  He was great, careful," said Kelly. 

 Friends say Leung worked as chemical engineer to finance his passion--performing in musical theater. 
A  music director who hired Leung and has worked with him for a decade says he was talented and had a big heart. 
 

"He cared about people and he was a terrific mucisian.  It's a terrible loss.  Everybody in the music community is feeling it," said Kevin Surace, a music director and conductor who said he was looking forward to working with Leung for an upcoming production of Grease.

 Friends describe Leung as a man who lived life to the fullest.

A spokeswoman for Tesla issued this statement: 
"We are deeply saddened by this accident, and we are working to establish the facts and offer our full cooperation to local authorities. Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and does not know the facts of what occurred." 
 

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