Tesla in auto-pilot mode collides with Snohomish County Sheriff patrol vehicle

On Saturday evening, May 15th, a Telsa Model S on auto-pilot collided with a Snohomish County Sheriff Ford Explorer patrol vehicle in Arlington. No one was hurt, and the driver of the Telsa was issued a ticket for the collision.
Tesla S and Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle after collision. Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol.

By Trooper Rocky Oliphant, Washington State Patrol.

On Saturday, May 15, 2021, at approximately 6:40 pm, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office requested the Washington State Patrol investigate a collision involving a 2015 Telsa Model S and a Snohomish County Sheriff Ford Explorer patrol vehicle in Arlington. 

A Snohomish County Sheriff's Deputy was investigating a one vehicle versus utility pole collision on 103rd Ave NE near SR 530 in Arlington. The deputy had his overhead emergency lights activated at the time and was partially blocking the roadway to protect the collision scene.

A 2015 Tesla Model S was approaching the area and struck the left side of the patrol vehicle.

Fortunately the patrol vehicle was unoccupied at the time of the collision and no injuries were sustained by either driver. 

While Troopers investigated the collision, the driver of the Tesla claimed that he had the vehicle in “Auto-Pilot mode” and assumed the vehicle would slow and move over on its own. The driver of the Telsa was issued a ticket for the collision. 

Regardless of the technology equipped with your vehicle it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle while on public roadways. 


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