The man had lost control of his vehicle and hit pedestrians last December. One person died and twenty were injured.
He remembers it “like it was yesterday”. The driver at the wheel of a Tesla electric taxi which caused a fatal accident in December in Paris, spoke to our colleagues from Parisian.
The 57-year-old man had lost control of his vehicle and hit pedestrians last December. One person died and twenty were injured. He is “100% sure to have braked”.
“I pump with one foot on the brake, but it doesn’t work”
This resident of Ris-Orangis was driving his Tesla Model 3, accompanied by his family, this Saturday, December 11. The car is at a red light on avenue d’Ivry. At that moment, the driver and his relatives heard a noise, difficult to describe. “Like a splash”, explains the father of the family. In the back, his daughter-in-law hears it too. “A kind of beep, like when you receive a text message. In any case, I have never heard it before”.
The car, in automatic mode but not autonomous, restarts and starts accelerating “all by itself”. “I pump with one foot on the brake, but it doesn’t work. My wife says to me: ‘But why are you going so fast?’ I tell him it’s blocked.
Impossible, according to him, to press the pedal to stop. “I even try with both feet. But it doesn’t work,” recalls the driver, who has been in office for 27 years. He then tries to engage the automatic brake, which is normally triggered when approaching an obstacle. Again, nothing happens. The studs they are approaching bend under the car, which does not stop.
A cyclist hit
The taxi hits a glass container which, under the shock caused by the speed, is thrown in the air and explodes on the ground. The vehicle then hit a traffic light, also thrown into the air and then ended its race in a van in circulation in the middle of the intersection, according to the account of a police source.
Hit by this utility, a 19-year-old cyclist was fatally injured. Other people are seriously injured. In the Tesla, the father of the family makes sure that his children and his wife “have nothing”. His relatives are unharmed.
“I’m afraid the car will explode, remembers the young woman. But I don’t even know how to open the door. The airbags went off. Lots of lovely people come to help us. The worst is when I go out and that I find all these people lying on the ground. My stepfather is devastated. He is coughing up blood from the broken glass he swallowed. He starts running everywhere to go see the victims and apologize, ” says the taxi driver’s daughter-in-law.
A complaint against Tesla
Examinations reveal that he did not consume alcohol or narcotics. “I have all my points. I must be one of the few colleagues among my colleagues who has never had a recovery course. They tell me that I drive like a grandpa”.
A judicial investigation is underway in Paris, the taxi driver has been indicted for “manslaughter and involuntary injuries by land motor vehicle” and placed under judicial control. He is no longer allowed to drive. “We manage as best we can with my wife who doesn’t have a licence. I’m looking for a little job. Maybe handing out flyers. Driving doesn’t mean anything to me anymore…”.
The 50-year-old decided to file a complaint at the end of March against the manufacturer Tesla France for “endangering the lives of others”. He had obtained his vehicle last August. Now the man no longer wants to hear about the American company. “I hate her. Because of her, my family almost died.”