Washington Man Arrested for Vehicular Homicide After Tesla in Autopilot Mode Collides with Motorcyclist

Washington Man Arrested for Vehicular Homicide After Tesla in Autopilot Mode Collides with Motorcyclist

A Washington man, identified as 56-year-old Carl Hunter, has been arrested and charged with vehicular homicide following a fatal collision involving a Tesla in autopilot mode and a motorcyclist. The incident occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Friday in Maltby, Washington, according to a Washington State Patrol incident summary.

The victim, 28-year-old Jeff Nissen from Stanwood, tragically lost his life in the crash. Nissen was pronounced dead at the scene after being ejected from his motorcycle and subsequently run over by the Tesla. Described as a loving person and uncle by his sister, Jenessa Fagerlie, Nissen’s untimely death has left his family devastated. He would have celebrated his 29th birthday in June.

Court documents obtained by FOX 13 Seattle reveal that Hunter, the Tesla Model S driver, informed first responders that the vehicle suddenly accelerated and collided with the motorcycle in front of him while in autopilot mode. Although Hunter admitted to consuming one alcoholic drink prior to the incident, he passed both field and blood tests. However, investigators have determined that distracted driving, as Hunter was using his phone at the time, was the cause of the crash.

Tesla, the car manufacturer, is currently offering a free 30-day trial of its latest Full Self-Driving (Supervised) features to new and existing owners of Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles in the United States and Canada. The trial, launched with the latest software upgrade (version 12.3 or later), allows Tesla owners to experience advanced autonomous driving capabilities. However, the company emphasizes that drivers must exercise caution, remain attentive, and not become complacent, as the vehicles do not become fully autonomous.

It is unclear whether the driver involved in the crash was utilizing the self-driving trial or had paid for the service. Tesla has not responded to a request for comment from FOX Business.

As a message to drivers, Fagerlie urges them to put their phones away and minimize distractions, emphasizing the importance of paying attention to the road.

Author: CrimeDoor

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