Khodrocar - The EV is said to have struck the median concrete divider before taking off shortly and crashing back down on the asphalt. It was subsequently hit by two cars driving behind it at highway speed - first a Mazda, then an Audi - and caught fire.
Witnesses were able to extract the driver before the flames posed any threat to him. However, despite showing vital signs, he was completely unresponsive and there was nothing more the first people on the scene could do.
"I saw, past the smoke of the smoldering and sputtering Tesla Model X and saw a man running up with a fire extinguisher," a person who asked to remain anonymous told NBC. "I rounded towards what used to be the front of the car and saw, remarkably, an intact man that was covered in a light layer of dust. The front of the car was simply gone."
Indeed, the pictures show the entire front end of the SUV was wide open with the two front seats completely missing.
As it's usually the case with EV fires, there was a bit of confusion about how the fire teams were supposed to intervene. Even so, the fire was contained without any issues as Tesla sent some technicians over to help as well.
Neither California Highway Police or Tesla released any information on whether the Model X had Autopilot engaged at the time of the crash, but the question surely must be on everyone's lips. Until we hear from any of the two sources that could shed some light on this matter, all anyone can do is speculate.
With this coming just a few days after Uber's self-driving test car hit and killed a pedestrian, another casualty caused by a semi-autonomous driving system would be a terrible blow for the technology. It surely wouldn't disrupt its development, but the public perception might take a hit, potentially pushing back its eventual adoption.