Underage Teens Driving a Tesla Hit Police Car, Try to Blame Autopilot

Photo: Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

On Thursday, a deputy from Flagler County Sheriff’s Department in Florida saw a Tesla Model 3 driving on the wrong side of State Road 100 exiting a Palm Coast Wawa gas station. When the Tesla stopped, slowly backed into a sheriff’s cruiser, reported the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

When the deputy arrived at the driver’s window, no one was sitting in the driver’s seat, and instead, two girls, one 14 and one 15, occupied the front passenger seat and the back seat.

The girls then went on to claim that the Tesla had been driving itself, though, after further investigation, the deputies determined that one of the teens had previously been driving, before putting it into Autopilot and causing the crash.

Upon more questioning, the girls told the deputy they had been driving from South Carolina to visit one of the girls’ fathers. When the deputy contacted the parents of the teens, the driver’s mother informed the officer that she had not been aware that her daughter was leaving the state, saying she thought they were at her grandmother’s house. Due to the distance the girls had driven, the parents were unable to pick up their daughters that evening.

Sheriff Rick Staly said, “These kids are very lucky that no one was hurt and their actions didn’t have more serious consequences.” Staly continued, “It doesn’t matter if you are driving a ‘smart car’, driving without a license is still against the law. I hope these kids have learned a valuable lesson and I am grateful that no one was hurt and only minimal damage occurred to their vehicle.”

The officers issued the driver a citation for driving without a license, and the girls were transported to the Flagler County Palm Coast District 2 Office to meet with an investigator from the Department of Children’s and Families.