ABC 7 News reported a fatal accident on I-680 in Walnut Creek California, at Treat Boulevard Saturday, February 18, 2023.
Early Saturday morning, Contra Costa County Fire Captain Chris DeMeo and his crew were about to clear the scene of a non-injury accident on I-680 North in Walnut Creek when tragedy struck. A Tesla slammed into the fire truck and killed the car's driver while critically injuring the passenger.
The California Highway Patrol said the driver of the Tesla was traveling at a high rate of speed and did not slow down before hitting the fire engine. Officials did confirm the Tesla's automated driver-assist system was a factor. Four firefighters, including Capt. DeMeo, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Capt. DeMeo recalled the jolting impact of the crash and said that all of his equipment went forward.
The accident is the 17th fatal accident involving Tesla's automated driving assist system since June 2021. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. While firefighters were working, another car on the freeway narrowly missed them.
Legal Herald contributor Bobby Thompson represents individuals injured in auto accidents throughout the state of California. He courteously shared information on the legal rights of people injured or killed in self-driving auto accidents.
"As an experienced auto accident lawyer, I am deeply concerned about the recent increase in accidents involving Tesla's self driving option. It is the duty of the manufacturer to ensure that the product is safe for the drivers and other drivers on the road. Those who are injured or killed while utilizing the option have legal rights and should be aware of them."
"The injured party or their family may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. The manufacturer may be held liable for negligence and product liability. It is important to note that the injured party may also be able to bring a claim against the driver, depending on the circumstances."
"It is also important to note that the injured party may be able to bring a claim against the manufacturer for breach of warranty, if the product was not up to the standards of the manufacturer. Furthermore, if the accident was due to a design flaw, the manufacturer may be held liable."
"As an experienced auto accident lawyer, I urge those who have been injured or killed while utilizing Tesla's self driving option to contact an attorney to discuss their legal rights and the potential for compensation."