Crashes Involving Tesla's Driverless Smart Summon Feature Being Reported
A rented Tesla that was speeding when it ran a red light, killed a man and critically injured his wife was not on Autopilot mode, police said. According to a KTLA news report, the Tesla, driven by Kelly Cambridge, struck and killed 39-year-old Benjamin Dean, and severely injured his wife, Kelly Dean, who remains in critical condition.
Police say Cambridge, 21, was driving the Tesla at a high rate of speed. They say she had rented the car through a peer-to-peer rental car service. Cambridge was reportedly driving 45 mph in an area where the speed limit was 25 to 30 mph when she ran the red light and was broadsided by another car. The Tesla struck a car and the couple, who were in a crosswalk. Cambridge was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and running a red light. The case is still under investigation.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of this couple that was reportedly celebrating their third wedding anniversary in San Francisco. We wish Kelly Dean the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Autopilot or Reckless Driving
Based on this news report, police examined the Tesla to check if it was on Autopilot and determined that it was not. There have been a number of car accidents that have occurred when the driver of a Tesla vehicle used the Autopilot mode. Several studies have demonstrated that the name “Autopilot” can be misleading because it is not a fully autonomous function. Yet, it lulls drivers into a false sense of security. We’ve seen a number of instances where drivers have fallen asleep while their Tesla was on Autopilot.
In this particular case, it would be in the victims’ best interest to have the vehicle independently examined by an expert to confirm the police’s determination. In this case, the driver – who was reportedly speeding and ran a red light before striking the pedestrians, who were legally walking in a crosswalk – can also be held liable for the injuries, damages, and losses caused. An experienced California car accident lawyer will be able to better advise victims and families regarding their legal rights and options.