A pickup truck slammed into the crowd; the driver was drunk and on drugs.
Four attendees at a Tesla event in Detroit yesterday were struck when a pickup truck crashed into the crowd. Tragically, a 73 year-old man has died after suffering a severe head injury from the impact, which wedged him beneath a trailer. Two other people are said to be in temporary serious condition, while a fourth person received only minor injuries and declined treatment.
Police have the 42-year old driver of the pickup truck in custody. Original reports from witnesses say the driver intentionally struck the crowd at a high rate of speed, though according to Electrek it was accidental. The driver reportedly smelled of alcohol; police say the driver later admitted to taking drugs before the crash and that it wasn’t intentional, which of course makes absolutely no difference to those who were there.
The tragedy occurred during a Tesla Explores event in the city’s Midtown area. Tesla is currently conducting a North American promotional tour, using Model X sport-utility vehicles towing Airstream trailers outfitted as mobile showrooms to present Tesla vehicle options and information. The manufacturer’s direct-to-consumer sales and service business model isn’t welcome in Michigan, one of a few states where Tesla isn’t allowed to sell cars.
Both traditional dealerships and automakers – which generally enjoy lucrative business partnerships – have pushed back against the practice. In response, Tesla currently has a lawsuit against the state to allow vehicle sales and service without a third-party dealer franchise.
In response to the accident, A Tesla spokesman told Electrik that the company’s employees were safe, and expressed grief for those who were hurt.
“Our employees are safe and accounted for, and our thoughts are with those who were injured. We will offer any assistance we can to the authorities who are on the scene.”