Tesla Involved In Another Fatal Accident As Model S Veers Into Pond (Updated)

The driver of a Tesla Model S died after driving his car into a pond on Sunday night in Castro Valley, California.

His body wasn’t recovered until Monday morning by an Alameda County Sheriff’s rescue team, and authorities still don’t know why the man drove off the road and into the pond. A property owner nearby heard the crash on Sunday evening and called 911 after seeing that his fence had been damaged and noticed that there were tire tracks leading up to the pond.

“The vehicle was submerged…trees in the water made it difficult to tow it out,” stated CHP Sgt. Michael Novosel.

KTVU reporter Leigh Martinez was on location, where she learned that no other vehicles were suspected as being involved, according to CHP (California Highway Patrol) Castro Valley.

Authorities have yet to release the identity of the driver (adult male), while Tesla is also standing pat on making any official statements. Without a full investigation, it’s impossible to know anything regarding the condition of the driver or that of the vehicle prior to the crash.

Last week, the American EV-maker did release a statement with regards to another recent Model S accident, claiming that they have “not yet received any data from the car” and therefor don’t know any of the facts, “including whether Autopilot was engaged.”

We suspect the same could be said about this particular crash, which means we’ll just have to wait until all the facts are made public.


Tesla released the following statement after analyzing the data following the crash: “We have been able to recover enough data from the vehicle to confirm that Autopilot was not engaged at the time of this accident.”


Photo: Leigh Martinez / Twitter

  • Erzhik

    Tesla involved in a car crash, like thousands of other cars every year. News at 11.
    In other news, Autopilot is just a fancy name for adaptive cruise control.
    And now, puppies from around the world.

  • Day_Trader

    Idiots. Look at me Ma – no hands. Laziness and incompetence met together. Congrats.

    • Bo Hanan

      And this guy had to be going very fast to have that kind of roll damage before going into the lake.

  • Ron

    So a car is involved in an accident and someone died. That happens multiple times every single day but for some reason this one makes the news because its a Tesla? No one knows if autopilot was even engaged at this point. I personally think Tesla has overstated and rushed its autopilot to the market but I have to defend them here, this hyperbole reporting of every Tesla accident is a little ridiculous.

    Report on the thousands of people killed due to texting and driving, thats the real danger on our streets.

    • Brent Morrison

      Because you people claim that Teslas are the safest cars in the world

      • Erzhik

        They are safer, not safest. Safer because they have bigger crumple zones, that’s just common sense given no engine.

        • Brent Morrison

          Lord Elon says otherwise. He thinks they’re safer than Volvos.

          • TheBelltower

            I have yet to see the NHTSA conduct a “lake submersion” test. So we really don’t know how a Tesla would compare to a Volvo. Regarding the structure strength, a Tesla is stronger than any Volvo.

          • Aura

            “Regarding the structure strength, a Tesla is stronger than any Volvo.” According to IIHS and Euro NCAP and a comparison of both body structures, you’re wrong.

          • TheBelltower

            Nope. The Model X and S both receive five stars in all crash tests. Volvos do well too, but only four stars in some of the rollover tests.

          • Aura

            By your logic the 2018 Toyota Camry is safer than the S, as it has five stars in every category of the NHTSA test, a higher Euro NCAP rating and the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus which the S could not achieve. The S does not achieve the highest Euro NCAP score, nor any of the IIHS’ top ratings.

            The rollover rating is resistance not crashworthiness. An SUV will have more body roll, the Model X is lucky because it has a lower roofline and heavy batteries to help it. Volvo S60 got five stars in the rollover rating. Intrusion levels and crash performance of Volvo’s are better according to IIHS and Euro NCAP. Two sources outweight one.

          • TheBelltower

            Cherry pick as you wish. We could volley this back and forth all day. The reality is, the S was the first to achieve this level of crashworthiness with current crash standards. All of this is of no consequence regarding the article, which had nothing to do with structure strength, and everything to do with driving a car into a body of water.

          • Aura

            I’m not cherry picking, the Volvo S60 got five stars in every category of the NHTSA test before the Tesla Model S. When the S was tested by Euro NCAP at the time, it was not the best result based on the data. When it was tested by IIHS, it was not the best result based on the data. It was tested two more times and showed worse intrusion in the small-overlap test.

            This is relevant because you claimed the body structures are stronger in the Tesla’s than any Volvo, which is false. Tesla does not use as much boron steel in their body structure, not as much extra, very or high strength steel in integral locations as Volvo. This performance is evident through Euro NCAP and IIHS. Ratings don’t suggest the entire safety of a vehicle. The new Mercedes E Class gets better ratings than the Model S, by your logic it is safer because of those ratings.

            The Model X also has not been tested by IIHS or Euro NCAP.

          • TheBelltower

            Well, you are cherry picking. Regardless, can a Volvo float better than the Model S? No? Okay then. We are done.

          • Aura

            The definition of cherry picking does not correlate to what I’m doing. You made a statement, which was Tesla’s structures are stronger than Volvo’s. The evidence shows otherwise.

          • ProtectOurHeritage

            There have been no deaths in Volvo XC90s in the UK since 2004. That’s an amazing record! However, I guess they aren’t fitted with dangerous autonomous technology that encourages drivers to take their eyes off the road.

        • Nick099

          The engine provides protection in a crash.

          • Hauerg

            THAT is bs.

            In fact engine intrusion is a killer, especially with the longitudional mounted ones.

      • Ron

        If you will actually read my comment before pointing a finger, you will see that I said “I personally think Tesla has overstated and rushed its autopilot to the market”. Not sure how that implies that I believe they are the safest cars in the world. For the record, I don’t think they are the safest. I do however think its ridiculous that ever single Tesla crash is now a headline regardless of the cause.

        If the autopilot was indeed on and the car deliberately ran itself into a pond without allowing the driver to take control to avoid the accident, then okay, report away. The problem I have is that at the time this was posted, no one knew and still doesn’t know what happened, therefore its just another unfortunate accident.

        • Brent Morrison

          Discussing facts with a Tesla fan boy is like talking to yourself to a wall.

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      I’m honestly surprised the media hasn’t named it yet. “Tesla-gate” since every controversy, real or man made, has to have “gate” at the end. Thank you Watergate hotel!!

      • LWOAP

        I hate when they put gate behind everything.

        • Brent Morrison

          Bill Gates?

          • LWOAP

            Except him. That’s fine.


    This is only news because it’s a Tesla but considering how much attention Tesla gets everything about the brand is going to get reported.

    I’m just waiting for another Twitter response from Elon.

    • Brent Morrison

      Tesla is the new Apple

      • TheBelltower

        Good. And conventional automakers are the new Micron.

        • Brent Morrison

          Not really. Have you heard? Apple is falling behind. Reality Distortion Field penetrated to your ding dong bell tower it seems.

          • TheBelltower

            If you say so. Apple owns 10% of the PC market and 40% of the phone market. An endless list of others comprise 90% and 60% respectively. Apple is a premium product, while other brands of hardware are practically given away. That’s the reality my friend. How’s that for my reality distortion field?

          • Status

            Premium products using the same consumer hardware everyone else uses? It’s delusional to think otherwise.

          • Brent Morrison

            Premium is only a perception. Premium does not mean better. I feel like talking to a wall, that’s how strong the Reality Distortion Field is.

          • TheBelltower

            “premium” is not only perception. It has to do with the customer demand and what people will pay for something. In certain industries and venues, any Wework space for instance, if you walk in carrying a Microsoft based product you might as be wearing pleated chinos and a fanny pack.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    Two words: Teslikaze Pilot

  • danno

    That car left the road at a pretty high rate of speed to cause that kind of damage to the rear.

  • Christian

    turns out that the Fiat UNO is more safer…

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      I think safer is sufficient. That or more safe.

      (Grammar Police weapon holstered)

      • Christian

        We live in 2018… You can identifies how ever you wanna spell safe…

        • Auf Wiedersehen

          Oh so, grammar became unnecessary in January? I see.

  • Hans_Remore

    Hope the fishies were okay.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Do you have those Volvo stats? If not, then you have no basis for your comment.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    I’m gonna bet the “driver” (and use that term loosely) was asleep in the back, the Tesla took a wrong turn and the, passenger at that point, was knocked out and drowned.

  • Mynameis Taylor

    all these reports of Tesla crashes seem like smear campaigns. I don’t recall one report of a Tesla crashing because a malfunction. In each death, weren’t the drivers speeding and not properly using the auto pilot ( which is pretty much advance cruise control). It’s not an airplane. you have to DRIVE the car

    • Brent Morrison

      Tell that to the fanboys

    • KenjiK

      Maybe Tesla should stop their marketing BS and call it as it is : an advanced cruise control, not “autopilot”.

  • Paul

    It was probably in autopilot mode too.

    • ProtectOurHeritage

      I’d be amazed if it wasn’t.

      • Eagle By Singer

        It apparently wasn’t. Apparently.

        • ProtectOurHeritage

          I’ll wait for the coroner’s report.

  • Anthony James

    But Tesla say these are the safest cars on the road? Begs the question, what’s more important for a company to spend time on- Electric doors or safety tests?

    • Brent Morrison

      Their owners and employees are beta testers. The worst part is that they are paying lots of money to be one.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    And I quote “In Britain”. Is this car not sold anywhere else?

    • ProtectOurHeritage

      Yes, in Britain. However, that’s an amazing record! I guess these Volvos aren’t fitted with dangerous autonomous technology, like the Tesla, that seems to actively encourage drivers to take their eyes off the road.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    We? You got a mouse in your pocket?

    • Christian

      Me and the Black Lives Matter movement got my back, brother! Also, ANTIFA helps me sometimes.

  • Hauerg

    The moels S „veered“ into the pond.

  • smartacus

    OK if it’s not the cars’ fault,
    but the stoopid drivers’ fault.
    then stop selling to tesla buyers

    • smartacus

      …You’re Welcome

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    Lazy Tesla operator or trash technology? Or both? I’m still undecided.
    Elon not worried the damage this does to the brand?


      • ProtectOurHeritage

        You saying he did it on purpose? If he did, then I guess he deserved what we got. I’d put money down that he had the dangerously distracting autonomous system engaged.

        Your CAPS LOCK appear to be stuck on. Perhaps you should fix your keyboard?

        • smartacus

          you are obviously new here.

  • Bob

    If autopilot wasn’t engaged, why is this news? Or are you going to report on every collision in the US going forward?

Chevolet Blazer XL Outed In China, Will Be Available In Both Five- And Seven-Seat Configurations

The Chinese-spec model will be offered exclusively with a 227 HP turbocharged four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive.

Elon Musk Testifies That He’s Financially Illiquid (!) In British Driver Lawsuit

Although Musk is reportedly worth $23.6 billion, most of his wealth is tied up to his stakes in SpaceX and Tesla.

Hyundai Made An Awesome iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ With A 400 HP Twin-Turbo V6 And RWD

The tuned people carrier will compete in three events in this weekend’s World Time Attack Challenge in Australia.

Ford Dealer Is Selling 700 HP Mustangs With A Warranty For Under $40,000

Buying The Roush supercharger of these Ford Mustang GTs usually costs $7,699 alone.

Volvo Wants To Be An All-Electric Brand By 2040

Volvo will become an all-electric brand when customer demand for its EVs is high enough.

A BMW M8 Touring Would Look Absolutely Glorious

Considering there’s no BMW M5 Touring on the market, an M8 Touring could make sense.

Which Is The Better SUV; Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Or Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio?

Both the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S and Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV deliver 503 hp from twin-turbo engines.

2020 Hyundai Grandeur (Azera) Is Getting A Nip And A Tuck

The revised Hyundai Grandeur, known as the Azera in America, includes revised lights.

Next-Gen Mercedes-AMG C63 Tipped To Get A Four-Cylinder Turbo Engine With Electrification

Aside from ditching the V8, Mercedes-AMG could also kill the next C63 Estate.

Tesla Bumps Up Prices Of Entry-Level Model 3 And Performance

The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus now starts at $39,490 while the Model 3 Performance is $56,990.