Tesla on autopilot slammed into deputy’s patrol car, officials say

National News

(NEXSTAR) – A Tesla in autopilot slammed into the patrol car of a Washington state deputy over the weekend, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.

A photo from the sheriff’s office shows the heavily damaged SUV missing a front left wheel and mirror.

Despite the patrol car’s mangled front end, both the deputy and Tesla driver managed to escape injury, according to Courtney O’Keefe, sheriff’s spokesperson.

A similar incident happened in North Carolina near Zebulon in Aug. 2020.

The Washington crash happened Saturday as the deputy was responding to the scene of a car that had crashed into a power pole, slicing it in half.

(Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

The deputy had pulled to the side of the road with lights flashing and got out to speak with first responders, when, 30 seconds later, the electric vehicle slammed into the patrol car, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Nearly a year ago, the driver of a Tesla was watching a movie while the vehicle was on auto-pilot when it plowed into a Nash County deputy’s vehicle, the Highway Patrol said.

The collision occurred Aug. 26, 2020, just after midnight on Highway 64 at mile marker 440, which is near the Franklin/Nash County line.

A Nash County deputy and a trooper with the Highway Patrol were on the side of the road while responding to a previous crash when the Tesla slammed into the deputy’s cruiser, the Highway Patrol said.

“This is a great reminder that vehicles may have autopilot to assist, but it cannot be relied upon to get you safely from one destination to the next,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.

Washington State Patrol, which is in charge of the crash investigation, said they couldn’t comment on the crash pending an update later Monday evening.

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