Semi Truck Flips After Collision With Tesla Model S (w/video)


Only few details are available at this time, but we do know that on Saturday morning in Newark, Delaware, a semi truck collided with a Tesla Model S.

The crash was apparently so violent that the tractor trailer flipped onto its side after the collision. The diesel tanks were ruptured during the impact. The semi came to a stop just before hitting a nearby home after reportedly running a red light.


Semi Truck Flips After Collision With Model S

Semi Truck Flips After Collision With Model S

The semi truck knocked down electrical wires in the aftermath of the collision too.

Model S After Crash

Model S After Crash

Fortunately, both the semi truck driver and the man behind the wheel of the Model S survived the crash. As 6 ABC reports:

“Police say the 76-year-old driver in the sedan was treated at the scene by medics for chest pains.”

“He was later taken to Christiana Hospital for evaluation. He is in serious, but stable condition.”

“The 51-year-old truck driver was also taken to Christiana. He is in stable condition.”

Modle S After Crash

Modle S After Crash

The precise cause of the accident has not yet been determined. The wreck is still under investigation.

Source: 6 ABC, Updated (August 1st-10:50 AM/ET): new details adds – hat tip to Robert Weekley!

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla

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67 Comments on "Semi Truck Flips After Collision With Tesla Model S (w/video)"

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I am getting irritated with all this “autopilot” news. I am not interested in Tesla’s autopilot feature at all, only the fact that the car is an EV.

What makes this website (about EVs) report about a feature like Autopilot in cars anyway? I seriously think that you writers just love writing about Tesla so much that nothing about the company is off limit to create a story about.

For all of you that will comment saying “If I don’t like the story don’t read it”, well I still have to read the title of these nonsense stories. It doesn’t compliment the theme of this website at all. Keep it about EVs, not their features.

If you don’t like the story, don’t read it.

That is such a lame comeback. You can agree or disagree that this is EV news, but simply arguing that you don’t need to read it is highly disingenuous. To see this, ask yourself whether the same “argument” applies if they start publishing articles about women’s fashion and the latest in handbags. Obviously anyone who cares about the site is entitled to an opinion. So either have the argument or just accept that people do have opinions. The “don’t read it” line is just lame. I personally tend to disagree with the poster regarding autopilot. But then again I didn’t see anything about autopilot here. Just Tesla. “A Tesla crashed” is basically the story here. And I think I know why it’s a story every time a Tesla crashes but never when a LEAF does. (Based on the respective numbers of Teslas and LEAFs on the road, and the number of articles about collisions involving each, you’d think Tesla drivers were twenty times as prone to crashing!) It’s simply because millions of people are googling for Tesla stories and much much fewer for LEAF ones… Otherwise known as click bait. I think I can live with it. If it means… Read more »
ChargedEVs is great, but that is what they do. We do what we do. There is a place for both of us as individual entities, but we can no more do what they do, then they can do what we do. Do you ask Charged EVs, “hey why don’t you write ~500 current articles a month beside the 2 featurettes you produce so that readers can stay on top things?” (apologies in advance for the sarcasm that seems to be implied with that quote…really wasn’t meant to be like that, lol) They produce content intended for a magazine – which takes a long time to go to press, so the material has to be geared as such. Deep, thoughtful … and not terribly current, as they know what they write today will be read on the shelf in ~2 months and it has to hold interest. You will notice, the last “new” thing under features at Charged EVs currently was from June 7th…we’ve done ~600 or so stories since then, and the last article on an EV in the vehicle news section was on Geely Concept from July 22…ours was about an hour ago. In other words, what they do… Read more »

Thanks for the insight, Jay!

Great insight; please carry on with the Voodoo you do.


There is quite a difference between the elimination of Tetraethyllead (so catalytic converters could be used) and using similar intervention to promote use of electric cars. For one thing the change to the consumer was negligible. Drivers still went to the same gas station and filled up the tank. Even the change in cost was unnoticed. But to replace an ICE vehicle with electric cars is a huge difference because of the vast changes required in range and time to “refuel”.

Hehe, well if I had flushed out the actually story I would be inclined to discuss the notion more fully with you.

But once again, it would have been a “dozens” of hours project both before, during and after…and now its sales day, so there is a dozen stories that need my focus, (=

The logic in this “another Tesla crash” is as follows: either Leafs do not crash, their crashes are uninteresting, or nobody is reporting Leaf crashes.
I think what’s interesting is that the Tesla took a hit from a semi truck and did its job very well. The semi truck created a fire hazard with diesel leaking and downed power lines.
Now, if someone can drive a Leaf and survive a landslide in it, fly 80 feet through the air and survive, or (my personal favorite from Mexico) tear up 25 feet of curb then run through two concrete walls and an electrified fence landing in a tree and run from the accident scene, then I hope that epic crash would be reported.
I wish no ill or calamity on anyone, but I’m trying to articulate why this crash made the news. It was like when that Ukrainian fellow forded a flooded tunnel in his Tesla: something of interest.

Most if not all of the IEV reports of Tesla car crashes are actually coverage of what some news source is covering, aren’t they? The current article includes coverage on the local TV news show.

So the question we should be asking isn’t “Why is IEV covering news of Tesla car crashes but not Leaf crashes?”… the proper question is “Why are Tesla car crashes regarded as newsworthy by local news shows, but not Leaf crashes?”

The answer, I think, is that Tesla cars have a high profile in the news media… and Leafs don’t. Or to put it another way: Newsies think their audience will be interested to hear about Tesla cars, crashed or not; but Leafs simply aren’t that interesting.

* * * * *

As I’ve said before: Tesla using the media for free advertising is a two-edged sword. Yes, they manage to generate sufficient interest to get lots of media coverage… in other words, lots of free advertising. But having gotten the attention of the news media, Tesla also has to endure coverage of even the least little thing that’s negative about Tesla, because with such a high media profile, that’s considered newsworthy too.

Excellent points! Tesla attracts the spotlight. That’s why they don’t have to advertise. It’s also why we hear about it when they wreck.

Pretty Amazing when a Passenger Car can Take out a Semi truck ,Flip on it’s side & the Tesla Car driver Survives it…Although I am a Firm believer that a Law should be Passed., that ,the trailers should have bumpers along the sides underneath them., to protect Low Slung cars from getting trapped And Or going rite through Beneath them ….

If you don’t like the comeback, don’t read it.

Terawatt said: “…ask yourself whether the same “argument” applies if they start publishing articles about women’s fashion and the latest in handbags.” When you grow up, Terawatt, you’ll be expected to be responsible for your own actions. Including your choice of which websites to look at frequently, and which to ignore. If InsideEVs starts focusing on things unrelated to EVs, then I’ll quit visiting the site every day, and I’ll find something else to occupy my time. Nobody is holding a gun to my head and forcing me to read an article I don’t want to. The same goes for you, and for BullEconomy. In fact, that goes double for BullEconomy. His screen name indicates he’s here primarily, or only, to promote his stock positions, and we’ve already got far too much of that in IEV comments. What really motivates people like BullEconomy to complain about reports of Tesla cars involved in auto accidents, is that such reports are contrary to their agenda of promoting Tesla stock sales. * * * * * For myself, frankly I’m getting tired of all the coverage of Tesla car accidents too. News agencies don’t report everyday gasmobile accidents, because they’re too common to… Read more »

Pushmi-Pullyu said:
“. . . then I’ll quit visiting the site every day, and I’ll find something else to occupy my time.”

I’ve got my fingers crossed. 😉

Lmao I love your response sven

So BullEconomy can have his opinion (about something that wasn’t even mentioned in the article), but jelloslug can’t?

Right. Maybe you need to drop the caffeine.

You obviously missed the humor in jello’s reply. I, however, did not. Nice comeback jello!

Terawatt said:

“That is such a lame comeback.”

That “Whooshing” sound you heard earlier, Terawatt, was jellolug’s joke whizzing by over your head. What is “lame” here isn’t his joke, but rather you missing the humor and thinking jelloslug’s comment was intended as a “comeback”.

I think he read other stories about this incident, but those ones, not thus one, mentioned Autopilot, or he read and the many comments there suggested the truck should have had Autopilot, but that would not likely have stopped it from running a Red Light, in its current rendition, anyway!

“If you don’t like it don’t read it” – How can you know if you like it or not without reading it? This line is repeated over and over on the internet as if it was a sound argument, when it’s so obviously invalid.

Was the video about AutoPilot? (I can’t see it because it’s Flash video, and I have that disabled for security reasons.) I don’t see any references in the article about it.

No. The story really boils down to a Tesla crashed with a semi, both drivers survived. There’s no information in the video that isn’t also given in the text (except details irrelevant to Tesla/EVs, like the semi skidded through and broke some power lines after tipping over).

What autopilot? I didnt read this word in the article not even once.
for me is more important to see how the car pass another “crash test” with a very good mark. See that the side windows of the car are not even broke after this big hit. This tells a lot about the integrity of the cabin. Also the detail that the truck has flip over means that thanks to the huge weight of the Model S it will stand quite well against big impacts.

Where does it say anything about autopilot?

The article above doesn’t mention Autopilot, or anything related to it.

In fact, the video posted at the local TV news show’s website doesn’t even mention the fact that there was a Tesla car involved in the accident.

Lotta people here reading into the story things that aren’t there! Lotta people including me… since I suggested in a previous post that the local news show covered this accident only because a Tesla car was involved, but it looks like that had nothing to do with why they covered it.

Mea culpa.

To bullEconomy,If you don’t like the story don’t read it!?

BullEconomy, I see stories on insideevs all the time like, Volkswagen going to build a giga Factory dedicated to electric vehicles. Volkswagen, 50% of their cars will be electric by 2020. Volkswagen minibus with 300 all electric miles by 2018. These and a lot more outrageous claims made by Volkswagen. A ccompany that is irrelevant, with no credibility. I just don’t read these stories, but someone will find them entertaining and humorous.

Autopilot isn’t mentioned at all in this article. I suggest you L2Read.

First, there is no mention of autopilot.


Third, the Tesla is in remarkable condition, considering the impactor was A TRUCK.

Fourth, many automakers are developing their full autonomy models with pure BEV test platforms, while only having certain active safety features and convenience features integrated into their ICE-based vehicles.

It is, therefore, quite relevant to the topic of EVs, whether they mentioned autopilot or not.

And no mention of the car brand, no sensationalism, no anti ev retoric.

Yes. I was surprised, in watching the video posted at the local news channel’s website, that there was no mention of the car being a Model S.

I guess this accident got coverage because of the rather startling image of a semi tractor-trailer rig flipped over in the front yard of someone’s home! Not the scenery you expect, or want, to see when gazing out the window of your living room.

Wow…enough to flip a semi over….how fast was the guy in the Tesla going??

76 year old driver….I can already guess what the main cause of the accident was. And no, it’s not Autopilot.

Your willingness to draw conclusions based on no real evidence whatsoever tells us all we need to know. There’s no reason for anyone to take your speculation seriously.

Look up numbers on accident/mortality rates by age. Teenage and U-29 drivers have the highest accident rates.

I’ll give you 1 guess as to which age group has the next highest rate. It’s not the 30-40 year olds.

How do you know the semi-truck driver wasn’t a teenage or U-29 driver?

Sven, he is 51, as reported above

The article states: “The semi came to a stop just before hitting a nearby home after reportedly running a red light.”
If this is accurate, it would seem the semi ran a red light and ran over the Tesla.
Did anybody actually read the article?

Obviously not bro 🙂

Looks to me that the truck must have been rolling over the front of Tesla at a considerable speed to flip over like that.

I don’t see any other way.

I’m getting real tired of these non-biased articles. You need to put more bias in your articles. Thank you ?

I wish Subary come up with hybrid models, Subaru eyesight one of the more advanced crash avoiding system failed several times and accidents happened. “Check Subaru forums” my point is that the spot light over Tesla is so overwhelming that people get the impression that is the only car that crashes due a possible crash avoiding system glitch. This undermine the purpose of promoting EVs giving the wrong impression.

Would love to have seen the Subaru Re1 go into production.

Wow, the safety cage of the Model S is in perfect condition.

This ‘looks’ like a car jumping out in the path of an oncoming semi, the semi driver turned hard trying avoid the car, clipped the front end and flipped his rig.

Either way, nice job of the semi driver for doing what it takes to minimize the injuries.

Tesla speed bump.

The article states: “The semi came to a stop just before hitting a nearby home after reportedly running a red light.”
If this is accurate, it would seem the semi ran a red light and ran over the Tesla.
Did anybody actually read the article?

Reportedly? From where does this info come from? Nowhere in the source video from the broadcast TV newscast did they say that the semi truck ran the red light. It is complete speculation in the article that the semi truck ran the red light. The Tesla could have run a red light.

Editorial note: Flip means 180 degrees or more rotation (flip a coin). The truck rolled onto its side which often happens with top heavy vehicles in collisions.

Right. Contrary to what François Viau posted above, the fact that the semi rig tipped over during the accident isn’t an indication it was traveling at high speed. As you say, those rigs are often top-heavy, and I think running over the nose of the Model S would probably be sufficient to tip it over, even in the absence of any contributing factors.

Even if the truck crawled over theTesla, it may have tipped over. The side struck by semi seems is the side the semi landed upon, so I would gather the truck tetered right, then flopped left.

The power line likely had an effect on which way the truck flipped. The lines cut into the trailer ~halfway back as seen by damage on the right side, which landed facing up.

The power line likely saved the house from major damage by removing some amount of kinetic energy.

Interesting how media associates “brand” … or doesn’t.

From title “Semi Truck Flips After Collision With Tesla Model S” … not just here, but by most outlets covering the story.

Clearly the semi is a FedEx vehicle, no mention of the truck manufacture (Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Peterbilt, or Volvo?)

Just pointing out bias within the media, and the branded recognition “Tesla” has to attract an audience! Such high brand recognition is a two edge sword … the ability to reach the audience with a new product offering, but also usefully by the media for pushing any story (good or bad).

We ‘Muricans LOVE our double-standards, thank you very much!!!


Another red light running incident on a freeway


In one of their later seasons, the Mythbusters did extensive traffic myth testing, including a significant comparison between a 4-way intersection and a roundabout. The roundabout was substantially more efficient in terms of moving more vehicles per unit time.

OMG +10

There is one roundabout in our area and is known affectionately as Suicide Circle. There are five spokes with stop signs and two major thoroughfares combine. Various interpretations of what constitutes a stop conspires to perplex and anger all who participate. Roundabouts are a poor solution for American driving habits.

“American driving habits are a poor solution for Roundabouts.”


Roundabout suck for pedestrian who have to cross the road.

People hate roundabouts!…The kookoo circles..

Tesla vs. Semi and both drivers survive…absolutely amazing. GO TESLA GO

of course an old guy chose a silver tesla with silver cyclones to match his hair

This needs a subsequent article – after insurance investigators reconstruct exactly what happened.

Logs should tell whether Autopilot was on or off, and/or related or totally unrelated to the collision.

Good grief. Seriously, Autopilot?

If the various articles about this accident are correct, if the semi ran a red light and then (apparently) ran over the nose of the Model S, then what the hell difference does it make if Autopilot was engaged or not?

Just what are you suggesting Autopilot should have done? Take control away from the driver, shift the Model S into reverse, and back away quickly enough that the semi wouldn’t hit it? Here’s a hint: Autopilot isn’t designed to do that!

It seems like there is a new Syndrome breaking out. ADS. Autopilot Derangement Syndrome.

Holy s*** a Tesla flipped a semi and the driver is alive??? That Tesla is an absolute TANK, has to be one of the safest cars on the road!!!

If you look at the abc news video you can see that the Tesla did not flip over the semitruck directly. From the marks on the road you can see that after the collision the truck driver lost control and left the highway off the right side where it was the highway shoulder to flip the truck over. This seems to be more than 300 feet of truck driving after the collision. Therefore the 51 year old truck driver had a great chance to survive. Unfortunately, the location of the collision was not shown to get a better understanding. During the next days, we will learn more.

My assumption is that the sedan hit the truck severely at one front wheel. After that the truck driver was unable to steer any more and bring the truck back to lane any more. This also explains the debris or rubber on the road’s surface.
But as many of you stated: Any other heavy sedan, SUV or Pickup truck involved in such an accident could have lead to the same result.
What has this to do with EV ???