98°F
weather icon Clear

Tesla slams into fire truck stopped at red light in Utah

Updated May 13, 2018 - 12:34 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature has rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 mph (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, but police say it’s unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged.

The cause of the Friday evening crash, involving a Tesla Model S and a fire department mechanic truck stopped at a red light, was under investigation, said police in South Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

The crash, in which the Tesla driver was injured, comes as federal safety agencies investigate the performance of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system.

The Tesla’s air bags were activated in the crash, South Jordan police Sgt. Samuel Winkler said Saturday. The Tesla’s driver suffered a broken right ankle, and the driver of the Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck didn’t require treatment, Winkler said.

There was no indication the Tesla’s driver was under the influence of any substance, and information on what the driver may have told investigators about the circumstances of the crash likely wouldn’t be available before Monday, Winkler said by telephone.

There was light rain falling and roads were wet when the crash occurred, police said in a statement.

“Witnesses indicated the Tesla Model S did not brake prior to impact,” the statement said.

Tesla’s Autopilot system uses cameras, radar and computers to keep speed, change lanes and automatically stop vehicles. The company, which is based in Palo Alto, California, and has a huge battery factory in the Reno area, tells drivers the system requires them to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel so they can take control to avoid accidents.

Police said they had been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash. NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said he didn’t know whether the agency would get involved with the crash.

Tesla did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Associated Press.

The NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles. In March, a Tesla Model X SUV crashed on a California highway, killing the driver, and investigators are looking into the performance of the semi-autonomous driving system in that crash.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
‘Assault on our city’: Hundreds ransack downtown Chicago after shooting

Hundreds of people descended on downtown Chicago early Monday following a police shooting on the city’s South Side, with vandals smashing the windows of dozens of businesses and making off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry, police said.

1 dead after gas explosion levels Baltimore homes

A natural gas explosion destroyed three row houses in Baltimore on Monday, killing a woman and trapping other people in the wreckage.

Crater Lake in Oregon threatened by visitor surge amid pandemic

The clean, clear waters of Crater Lake National Park are being threatened by contamination brought in by visitors after the coronavirus pandemic spurred sharp cutbacks in park staffing.

Georgia high school goes online after COVID infections reported

A Georgia high school plans to start the week with all classes shifting online after nine students and staff tested positive for the coronavirus when the school year opened last week with most students attending in-person.

Postal Service emerges as flash point heading into election

The success of the 2020 presidential election could hinge on a most unlikely government agency: the U.S. Postal Service. Current signs are not promising.

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

DC shooting leaves 1 dead, some 20 injured

A dispute that erupted into gun fire during a large outdoor party in Washington, D.C., early Sunday left one person dead and some 20 others injured, including an off-duty officer “struggling for her life,” according to police.

New Zealand marks 100 days of coronavirus elimination

New Zealand on Sunday marked 100 days since it stamped out the spread of the coronavirus, a rare bright spot in a world that continues to be ravaged by the disease.