Last weekend, an incredibly stupid and dangerous stunt performed by a Tesla Model S driver in Los Angeles' Echo Park neighborhood left the internet dumbstruck.
In an attempt to recreate a jump performed by YouTube influencer David Dobrik with a Model X on the exact same spot two years ago, the rented 2018 Model S ended up wreaking havoc on the quiet street.
Since the stunt happened at night and the Model S carried way more speed going up the Baxter street hill than the Model X, the landing proved to be disastrous. The EV's bumper made contact with the ground at a very uncomfortable angle, resulting in significant damage to the car.
While that's to be expected when attempting a jump over a hill at high speed through an intersection in the middle of the night, the trouble is the rented Model S swept everything in its path, including a Subaru Forester.
If you've already seen the dangerous stunt in Alex Choi's video, you probably remember that the YouTube influencer dismissed the damage done to the Subaru as minor, estimating that the SUV would only need a new rear bumper.
The owner begs to differ, though. In a YouTube video titled "My Car Got Smashed By A Jumping Tesla (Alex Choi)"—that was subsequently set to private—local musician Jordan Hook says his Subaru Forester saw significant damage.
"Although this guy claims in his video that my car didn't sustain major damage, this isn't true. The back is only banged up on the bumper. But my wheels were turned in towards the curb, and when the Tesla hit my car it jumped the curb, wrenching the wheels under and twisting them up so that it is now undrivable."
Normally, Hook's insurance—or rather the offending driver's insurance—should cover the damage, especially since we're talking about a rental car that should have extensive coverage. However, given that the offender blatantly broke the law, we're not sure that applies in this case. To sum it up, it looks like the Subaru owner either isn't hoping to be reimbursed by insurance companies or willing to follow all the necessary proceedings. He claims the Forester is totaled, so he started a GoFundMe page to raise money towards replacing the vehicle.
"I just put almost $5,000 into this car getting a new motor put in last month which kind of wiped out my savings. Luckily my neighbors Johnny and Cliff suggested that we rally Baxer Street and make a GoFund Me as a way to support me and show everyone that jumping a car (with a cat inside) on a neighborhood street in the middle of the night just for likes and followers is NOT COOL."
As it turns out, 611 people donated money to help Hook, with the $20,000 goal being already exceeded in just two days. Actually, he can buy a brand-new car with the $22,500 he raised.
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether Hook's decision to resort to crowdfunding to repair his ride is the right thing to do, but one should not forget he's still the victim in this case. We contacted Jordan and asked him for clarification regarding his insurance situation and we'll update the story if we hear back.
As a reminder, Alex Choi organized a meetup for Tesla owners over the weekend and one of the participants, whom the YouTuber claims to have never met before, decided it would be a good idea to reenact a Model X jump.
In his video, Choi says he rushed to the car after the crash to see if the people inside were okay—thankfully, they were, and no one was on the street when the Tesla landed. That suggests the YouTube influencer would be able to identify the culprit, although there's no indication he has done that.
Shortly after crashing into several trash cans and two parked cars, the unidentified driver abandoned the car and fled the scene.
In a March 22 press release, the LAPD asked for the public's help to identify the culprit, offering a reward of up to $1,000 to community members who provide information leading to the offender's identification. Police continue to investigate the case as a misdemeanor hit-and-run.