Home NEWS Police/Fire Tesla Involved In Fatal Crash Into Firetruck On Autopilot – NHTSA

Tesla Involved In Fatal Crash Into Firetruck On Autopilot – NHTSA

View of the fatal crash scene. Photo: Sean McDonough

Investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the 2014 Tesla Model S that crashed into a ConFire ladder truck at a crash site in Walnut Creek on Feb. 18 was on Autopilot at the time – marking the latest in a series of crashes involving the popular vehicles with stationary objects.

The crash killed driver Genesis Mendoza Martinez, 31, of Pittsburg, seriously injured his passenger and caused minor injuries among four firefighters at work on a previous, unrelated crash on I-680 in Walnut Creek. ConFire’s Truck 1, the largest apparatus in their firefighting inventory, had been parked to provide cover for firefighters at work on the prior crash.

The $1.4 million firetruck had to be towed away due to damage sustained in the collision, with the Tesla so badly damaged that firefighters had to cut it open to extricate the injured passenger. Martinez was declared dead at the scene.

The NHTSA said a special crash investigation team is taking a closer look at the crash but suspect the crash took place when the driver engaged an automated driving system. At least 15 Teslas have crashed into emergency vehicles nationwide while using the system, according to a report by AP News.


    • Actually the system is good, as is General Motors new ‘Super Cruise’ (which might even be better)..but you’re supposed to be awake with your hands near wheel. The systems are not meant to drive you home because you’re drunk or want to sleep. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust technology all that much! Com’on how often do our computers crash or do unintended things.. I’m not going to trust it with my life.

  1. No matter how sophisticated it will always be a giant leap of faith for me to trust my car to get me where I need to go without me at the wheel.

  2. This story has two contradictory statements. 1st paragraph NHTSA says was on autopilot. Last paragraph indicates NHTSA is investigating and suspects vehicle was on autopilot. Which is it, a theory or fact?

  3. A 2014 Tesla used the MobileEye system, not Tesla’s inhouse developed Autopilot system. That was limited solely to traffic aware cruise control (TACC) and lane keeping.

Leave a Reply