Florida Highway Patrol Finds Portable DVD Player In Crashed Tesla Model S

More details of the fatal Tesla Model S accident that took place in May have emerged, and they are not helping clarify the investigation.
Tesla Model S 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
As we reported earlier this week, a Tesla Model S owner lost his life in May, and the NHTSA has opened an inquiry into the accident, as the vehicle was being driven with the Autopilot function activated.

Shortly after the incident emerged, reports claimed that witnesses heard Harry Potter playing in the car after they reached the wreckage.

However, these were dismissed at first, as one of the people claiming to have heard JK Rowling's famous series was the driver of the tractor-trailer which the Model S had struck.

Another reason to dismiss the rumors that the Tesla Model S owner was playing a movie onboard was a statement from the American automaker, who explained that the vehicle's multimedia screen cannot play videos while driving under any circumstances.

At the time, it was supposed that the driver was possibly listening to an audiobook version of Harry Potter. This would not have been a sufficient distraction for him not to pay attention to the road ahead.

Meanwhile, Florida Highway Patrol officials have revealed that reports announcing the discovery of a portable DVD player device in the vehicle were accurate.

Investigators have yet to confirm whether the device was being used at the time of the crash, and this is one of the most important elements of the investigation. Some eyewitnesses stated that they heard audio footage from Harry Potter after reaching the car, but others claim there was no audio or video being played in the wreckage when they arrived.

Terrence Mulligan, a witness who arrived at the scene of the accident before the Florida State Trooper, says no music was playing in the vehicle when he reached the wreck. Meanwhile, the other eyewitness who saw the car approximately 15 minutes after the incident, said he could hear footage from Harry Potter, ABC Net reports.

If investigators determine that the driver was being distracted by a DVD player, Tesla's potential blame for the incident will be dismissed, as it would not be the company's fault for someone driving distracted, even with an advanced cruise control system like the Autopilot.

As previously explained, Tesla asked owners who activated the system to keep their eyes on the road and at least a hand on the wheel, but many drivers have been spotted not paying attention to driving while the system was on.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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