A Tesla Model 3 driver lost control after hitting the accelerator pedal instead of the brakes while parking the car above the ambulance service headquarters. The car crashed through a fence and ended up landing on top of a parked ambulance. More specifically, the Tesla electric sedan was precariously balanced, with its rear end on a sloped easement or embankment, and its front end supported by the rear of the emergency vehicle.
To be clear up front, this wasn't a case of a Tesla on Autopilot failing to detect a parked emergency vehicle, nor was it a case of the car accelerating on its own. Moreover, it wasn't related to any advanced driver-assist systems. Rather, the authorities confirmed that it was an honest case of operator error.
Despite the authorities' explanation of the incident, we've already read some unfounded comments about unintended acceleration. In addition, some folks learning of the story may have questions about whether or not the car's instant acceleration was a contributing factor, in addition to suggestions of a lack of safety systems taking over. On the flip side, some Tesla owners wonder if Autopilot or Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta could prevent such an event.
When stories like this break, there are all sorts of comments and reports on social media, and you have to take them with a grain of salt. We immediately searched for videos from the scene, which often feature local police officers or firefighters explaining precisely what happened, at least based on what they know so far. Even with details coming directly from first responders, sometimes early "facts" can change, and we've seen it many times in the past.
As the story goes, three passengers were safely removed from the Model 3. Two were taken to the hospital right away, though the driver didn't immediately leave the scene. However, updates confirm that she asked to go to the hospital and was eventually transported. Reportedly, all three occupants suffered minor injuries, and no one else around the scene was hurt. For a report in much greater detail, check out the video below from the scene. The report attached to the video states:
"The female driver of the Tesla was attempting to park her Tesla in a parking spot above the Falck Ambulance Service headquarters when she hit the acceleration peddle instead of the brake pedal."
As far as the car and the ambulance are concerned, the responders had to figure out how to get the Model 3 down safely. They didn't want to drop the car and potentially cause a fire hazard. It was also important to try to minimize any further damage to either vehicle, since, despite the crazy circumstances, neither appeared to be totaled.
Fortunately, the authorities were able to lift the car up off of the ambulance and set it down safely.