A Tesla driver died after crashing into a swimming pool in San Rafael on Saturday morning, the California Highway Patrol said.
CHP said they were called to the incident just before 7:30 a.m. and that San Rafael first responders had been called to the incident earlier.
Authorities said the woman was driving west on Point San Pedro Road in the 2019 Tesla when it veered off the road and ended up in a swimming pool at a residence on Bonnie Banks Way.
CHP said no one else was injured in this accident.
According to CHP Officer Darrel Horner, the woman was not wearing a seat belt.
San Rafael police and the San Rafael Fire Department were the first to arrive on the scene and the driver was pronounced dead, Horner said.
It is not clear why the car swerved or if it was on autopilot at the time of the accident.
“Right now it’s still under investigation, we’re not sure if any of that played a role in this accident, but it will all be reviewed, we’ll be able to download the vehicle information,” Horner said.
Horner said at this time that CHP does not suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor in this accident, but they are continuing to investigate. Horner also noted that road conditions were clear, dry and icy at the time of the accident.
CHP said the Marin County Coroner will investigate the cause of death for this individual and will share the identity of the deceased once next of kin have been notified. NBC Bay Area has contacted the Marin County Coroner’s Office, but we have not heard back.
Barbara Kuffner lives in the house in San Rafael where this Tesla crashed. She said she was sleeping in her bedroom right outside her backyard pool when she heard a loud noise around 6:30 am Saturday. At first, Ella Kuffner thought she had heard thunder and lightning.
A friend was staying at Kuffner’s house that day and first saw the Tesla in the pool, he said. This friend instructed him to call 911 while he tried to get the driver out of the car.
“And the car was sinking and he knew there was a person in there, and he was trying to break the car to get the person out, but he couldn’t,” Kuffner recalled.
She said that when paramedics arrived, they declared the driver dead. Kuffner said she was asked to leave her backyard while the investigation unfolded.
Finally, a towing company arrived and lifted the Tesla out of the pool with a tow truck, and pool water rushed out of the Tesla as it traveled through the air.
“There’s still a lot of debris and the insurance companies have to get involved,” Kuffner explained.
As she picks up the pieces of the damage, Kuffner said she’s grateful that she, her friend and her friend’s dog weren’t in the backyard Saturday morning.
“The three of us could have been out there at the time and we may not be alive right now, life is a matter of time,” he said.
Bay City News contributed to the report.
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