The driver of a Tesla who may have been under the influence crashed into an Arizona Department of Public Safety cruiser and an ambulance on Tuesday.
According to a report appearing on the Tucson.com website, the accident happened along Interstate 10 near Benson in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 14th.
A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement that a DPS trooper’s vehicle was pulled over in the eastbound lanes of the Interstate. The trooper was assisting in an earlier crash when the 23-year-old driver of a Tesla with its autopilot function engaged rear-ended the trooper’s cruiser. The force of the impact sent the DPS cruiser into an ambulance in a chain-reaction crash.
“Luckily, our sergeant wasn’t in his vehicle at the time and was unharmed, as were the occupants of the ambulance,” the spokesperson said.
The driver from Irvine, California, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He is being investigated for possibly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. Authorities did not release his identity at the time of the report.
This is just the latest in a series of crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance program. According to a recent article appearing on the Silicon Valley.com website, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated earlier crashes involving Tesla vehicles, some of them fatal.
The federal agency concluded that in a crash involving a Tesla Model S in Florida, the driver’s overreliance on the autopilot system was to blame. The driver assistance system was also blamed in a 2018 crash in Mountain View, California, when the driver of a Tesla X SUV, drove his vehicle into a highway barrier and was killed.
At the time of the report, Tesla had not issued a statement regarding Tuesday’s crash in Arizona.