SOUTHFIELD – A Southfield art gallery owner told police his 2016 Tesla Model X was in Autopilot mode when it crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week, the Detroit Free Press reported. The crash came just one day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report on a fatal crash in May involving a Tesla that was in self-driving mode.
Albert Scaglione and his artist son-in-law, Tim Yanke, both survived Friday’s crash near the Bedford exit, about 107 miles east of Pittsburgh.
The Free Press was not able to reach Scaglione, owner of Park West Gallery, or Yanke, but Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police, who responded to the crash, said Scaglione told him that he had activated the Autopilot feature.
In his crash report, Vukovich stated that Scaglione’s car was traveling east near mile marker 160, about 5 p.m. when it hit a guard rail “off the right side of the roadway. It then crossed over the eastbound lanes and hit the concrete median.”
After that, the Tesla Model X rolled onto its roof and came to rest in the middle eastbound lane. A 2013 Infiniti G37 driven in the westbound lane by Thomas Hess of West Chester, Pa., was struck by debris from the Scaglione car, but neither he nor his passenger was hurt.
Vukovich said he likely will cite Scaglione after he completes his investigation, but he declined to specify the charge. Anyone who has driven on the Pennsylvania Turnpike knows that its narrow shoulders and concrete medians leave little margin for driver error. There’s not enough evidence to indicate that Tesla’s Autopilot malfunctioned.