A woman is dead after crashing her Tesla in a residential swimming pool. The incident occurred on Jan. 21 in San Rafael, California, about 20 miles north of San Francisco.
The unnamed woman reportedly allowed her vehicle to veer through a fence into a backyard before coming to a stop in the pool. Authorities said she was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash and she died at the scene. She was the only occupant.
The home belongs to Barbara Kuffner, who said she was jolted from her sleep.
“I hear a loud boom and like water…I thought it was like thunder and lightning and rain and I saw flashing lights in the backyard, in the pool,” Kuffner said.
A friend who was with Kuffner at the time ran out to the pool to assist.
“He was there trying to open the car and get the person out, but he couldn’t…I called 911, and they came within five minutes,” Kuffner said. She also said she wondered if the car was on auto drive or autopilot because this is not the first time an incident like this has occurred with a Tesla.
In fact, a similar incident occurred earlier in January when a Tesla driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake sending the car careening into a backyard pool in Pasadena, California. The passengers — A 4-year-old boy, his mother, and grandmother — were rescued by good Samaritans, according to the Pasadena Fire Department. The good Samaritans were reportedly a teacher and a maintenance man from a preschool next door to the home. They jumped into the pool to pull out the car’s occupants. No one was hospitalized.
Regarding the San Rafael incident, authorities said they didn’t know if any kind of automated systems were activated, but they can probably pull up those records.