Earlier today, a Tesla Model 3 owner died in a tragic accident with a semi truck. The Model 3 went under the truck’s trailer resulting “in the roof being sheared off as it passed underneath,” which is known as a “side underride” accident.
The circumstances are extremely similar to the famous 2016 fatal Autopilot crash. The accident is still under investigation and Autopilot hasn’t been ruled out.
We first learned of the accident, which happened in Delray, Florida, from a reader earlier this morning.
After contacting the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, we received the preliminary police report, which explains the accident:
“Vehicle 1 (V-1) was a tractor/trailer combination vehicle traveling eastbound on the driveway access to 14095 SR 7 (Pero Farms) preparing to turn left onto SR 7. Vehicle 2 (V-2) was traveling southbound on SR 7 within the outside lane approaching Pero Farms. After V-1 came to a brief stop at a stop sign, V-1 entered the southbound lanes of SR 7 pulling into the path of V-2. V-2 struck the driver side of V-1’s trailer resulting in the roof being sheared off as it passed underneath the trailer. V-2 continued southbound and came to a final rest approx 3/10th of a mile south of the collision. The driver of V-2 was pronounced deceased on scene.”
In this case, the Vehicle 1 is the tractor-trailer and Vehicle 2 is the Model 3.
It appears that this is the intersection where the accident happened:
The accident is reminscent of the tragic death of 45-year-old Joshua Brown in a collision with a truck while using the Autopilot of his Tesla Model S in Florida back in May 2016.
Neither Brown nor Autopilot managed to see the trailer of a truck crossing the highway and the car ended up going underneath the trailer and Autopilot kept driving another significant distance before coming to a stop.
It sparked a federal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system and eventually, NHTSA closed its investigation without finding any defect or issuing any recall.
In this new accident, the vehicle again kept going for over 500 yards (half a km) before coming to a stop.
We contacted Tesla about this new accident in Florida today and a Tesla spokesperson responded:
“We are deeply saddened to hear about this incident. We are working to learn more and are reaching out to the authorities to offer our cooperation.”
The local police force told Electrek that they were still also investigating the crash.