As part of a dangerous and stupid stunt, one driver recently drove a Tesla in Los Angeles and made a jump of more than 50 feet — and the whole thing was captured in a now-viral video. More so than any other brand on the market, Tesla’s been hugely responsible for pushing EVs from a weird niche to the mainstream. From its ‘affordable’ Model 3 to the whacky Cybertruck, Tesla is a large reason why EVs are as popular as they are today.
For all the good Teslas do for pushing the EV market forward, there have also been numerous controversies around the vehicles — often focusing on their self-driving features. In August 2021, a Tesla Model 3 using its Autopilot feature crashed into a parked police car on the side of the road. A video from November further highlighted the problems with Tesla’s autonomous driving capabilities, showing just how often the self-driving system can put someone in danger if they aren’t paying attention.
Related: Someone ‘Drove’ A Tesla From The Backseat, Got Arrested, And Did It Again
But there are also instances where Tesla drivers purposefully put themselves in dangerous situations. In May 2021, one Instagram influencer repeatedly recorded themselves sitting in the backseat of their Tesla Model 3 while the car was driving itself on Autopilot mode — something no responsible driver should ever do. Now, in March 2022, another reckless Tesla driver is making headlines. And this time it has nothing to do with Autopilot or self-driving. Instead, someone in LA was recorded driving a Tesla way too fast down a steep hill — causing the car to jump into the air for “at least 50 feet,” as reported by FOX 11 Los Angeles.
What We Know About This Crazy Tesla Jump Accident
The video shows a 2018 Tesla Model S driving dangerously fast up a hill and then lurching in the air once it reaches the top. The Model S soars in the air for a few seconds, leans forward, and then crashes headfirst into the road below it. The Tesla hit other parked during the crash, with the Model S itself getting totaled in the process. The Los Angeles Police Department is still trying to figure out who the driver was, but what is known is that they had rented the Model S in question.
This Tesla jump crash was first shared by YouTuber Alex Choi, whose video offers multiple angles of the accident. Choi almost immediately denies having any involvement with the crash itself, saying that the anonymous driver showed up at a Tesla meetup he had organized. The LAPD is reportedly looking into TikTok user @dominykas (also known as Dominykas Zeglaitis) as a potential person of interest. Zeglaitis uploaded a now-deleted TikTok video claiming responsibility for the accident. The video showed text saying, “I just crashed my new Tesla,” followed by a shot of Zeglaitis behind the wheel of a car, quickly cutting to another clip of the Tesla jump crash. Choi later contradicted Zeglaitis’s video and said that he wasn’t “sure why he’s [Zeglaitis] lying to everyone and saying he did.”
Regardless of who’s actually responsible, it should go without saying that stunts like this are extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Tesla or not, an accident like this shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If you have any information that leads to the arrest of the person involved with the Tesla jump crash, the LAPD is offering up to a $1000 reward.