Tesla in fatal California crash ‘was on autopilot’

A Tesla involved in a fatal crash on a southern California freeway last week was operating on autopilot at the time, authorities said.

The May 5 crash in Fontana, a city 50 miles east of Los Angeles, is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The probe is the 29th case involving a Tesla that the agency has responded to.

Tesla Model 3
A Tesla Model 3 (Tesla)

A 35-year-old man was killed when his Tesla Model 3 struck an overturned lorry on a freeway at about 2:30am.

The victim’s name has not yet been made public. Another man was seriously injured when the electric vehicle hit him as he was helping the lorry driver out of the wreck.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced on Thursday that the car had been operating Tesla’s partially automated driving system called Autopilot, which has been involved in multiple crashes.

The Fontana crash marks at least the fourth US death involving Autopilot.

“While the CHP does not normally comment on on-going investigations, the Department recognizes the high-level of interest centred around crashes involving Tesla vehicles,” the agency said in a statement.

“We felt this information provides an opportunity to remind the public that driving is a complex task that requires a driver’s full attention.”

The federal safety investigation comes just after the CHP arrested another man who authorities have said was in the back seat of a Tesla that was driving this week on Interstate 80 near Oakland with no-one behind the wheel.

CHP has not said if officials have determined whether the Tesla in the I-80 incident was operating on Autopilot, which can keep a car centred in its lane and a safe distance behind vehicles in front of it.

But it is likely that either Autopilot or “Full Self-Driving” were in operation for the driver to be in the back seat. Tesla is allowing a limited number of owners to test its self-driving system.

Bins missed because lorries can’t fit down lanes

A new recycling system in parts of the South Hams has ran into “teething problems” after repeated missed collections in “harder to reach” areas.

Recycling contractor FCC Environment is now “working hard” to collect bins that have been missed, after its lorries were unable to fit down narrow lanes.

Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams District Council’s[1] lead member for waste and recycling explained that the new routes were driven to test that each vehicle was allocated correctly, but “as with any new service there are some exceptions that are not identified in advance”.

As a result, FCC is now re-allocating these routes to the appropriate sized vehicle “as soon as possible”.

The contractor is prioritising properties which have had repeated missed collections and asked residents “bear with” crews while missed bins are collected.

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The new system, which sees recycling and food waste picked up every week, has been operating in West Devon “successfully” for the last 10 years.

Some residents have praised the “great” new system as you can recycle more items, but others have pointed out problems with it – with some locals collections running a week behind.

One local said: “For what it’s worth, the new system in the South Hams is great in that you can now recycle tonnes more stuff.

“Yoghurt pots, foil, plastic waste etc, and they’ll take your empty glass too.. So it’s a positive change in theory, but obviously the council is having major trouble actually doing it.”

FCC has asked that residents follow council advice to place their new recycling bins and boxes “in the right places” for collection, to ensure that binmen can carry out collections properly.

A spokesperson for FCC said: “We have been questioned about the vehicles being too large for some areas, the vehicles selected to deliver this service are state of the art recycling vehicles and they are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the District.

“We do [ask] residents to follow council advice to place their recycling bins and boxes in the right places for collection.

“We appreciate for some that this may mean changes to the way their recycling has been collected previously but we ask for your support on this.”

One of the missed collections in the South Hams
One of the missed collections in the South Hams (Image: submitted)

FCC said it remains confident that “once these hurdles have been overcome”, the service will “deliver all of the benefits promised at the outset”

Another South Hams villager said that their recycling was collected today, a week later than scheduled.

“It looks like [binmen] are having to walk to the hard-to-get places in narrow lanes where the lorry won’t fit,” they said.

“[It’s] not that far, 50 yard maybe, but that is a long way to lug two big green boxes, a bag of plastic waste and a waste food caddy, then take the boxes back to the house.”

Cllr Baldry said that all missed grey and brown bin collections aim to be collected within three working days.

“Whilst we complete the change-over to the new service for all residents, we are sorry to say that we cannot return for any missed recycling,” he said.

“We ask that residents keep it until the next collection. In such cases, residents can put additional recycling out in any sturdy container although the recycling still needs to be sorted in the same way as the other containers.

“Where possible, we ask that residents use recycling banks for items such as glass and paper.”

FCC Environment statement in full

On April 1 2019, FCC Environment began providing all waste, recycling collection and street and toilet cleaning services on behalf of South Hams District Council extending the company’s existing contract with West Devon Borough Council to deliver a range of benefits to residents in both communities.

The waste and recycling service in West Devon, which mirrors the system rolled out in South Hams, has been successfully operating for over 10 years and residents have responded well. The recycling vehicles now in use in South Hams have been in use in West Devon since March 2018.

The system, which was specified by South Hams Council and is considered ‘best in class’ by many other local authorities in England, has been carefully designed to maximise the amount of materials collected for recycling, reducing waste in the grey bin, which is what residents wanted to see. The system also delivers quality recyclate which means the materials will go on to be recycled into new products.

But behind the scenes this system has been far from easy to implement in South Hams and we acknowledge there have been teething problems which have resulted in some residents having missed collections and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

It is important to note however that we will be collecting from nearly 46,000 households on this new recycling service on a weekly basis. In addition we are also collecting general waste and green waste from nearly 47,000 properties on a fortnightly basis – so the levels of missed collections reported represent a small proportion of the total.

It should also be noted that the system was designed on the basis of recycling vehicles filling up once a day and being emptied at the end of the working day but due to the home working implications of lock downs through 2020-21 and residents saving recycling for the new system to launch, the vehicles can fill up, up to 2 to 3 times a day, so they need to travel back to the depot and unload each time but we are making our way through the implications of such unprecedented volumes.

We are working hard to collect from residents that have been missed and to collect from the harder to reach properties on our rounds and we are getting there but we would ask residents, particularly those who have had repeated missed collections, to bear with us at this time.

We have been questioned about the vehicles being too large for some areas, the vehicles selected to deliver this service are state of the art recycling vehicles and they are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the District. We do residents to follow council advice to place their recycling bins and boxes in the right places for collection. We appreciate for some that this may mean changes to the way their recycling has been collected previously but we ask for your support on this

We are asking residents to bear with us in the coming weeks while these issues with this complex recycling scheme are ironed out and we remain confident that, once these hurdles have been overcome, that the service we have been contracted to deliver across South Hams and West Devon will deliver all of the benefits promised at the outset.

You can find more out about the new recycling service in the South Hams, here[2].


  1. ^ South Hams District Council’s (
  2. ^ here (

Shocking video shows drunk HGV driver swerving all over motorway

A SHOCKING video shows a drunk HGV driver[1] who had empty bottles of scotch whisky and wine in his cab swerving all over the motorway[2].

The jaw dropping footage shows the intoxicated HGV driver recklessly swerving northbound on the A1 near Peterborough on Tuesday. 

The careless driver was captured swerving from side-to-side across the dual carriageway by a motorist[3] who was driving behind him.

Masses of dust can be seen blowing up from the lorry’s back tyres as the vehicle continues to bounce across the tarmac. 

The large HGV then runs off the road and tears through the dirt at the left hand side of the road, causing the vehicle to spin uncontrollably.

Attempting to compensate and retrieve the van from the grass at the side of the road, the driver then crashes into the railing which separates the dual carriageway. 

Peterborough’s southern Neighbourhood Policing Team yesterday revealed the driver to be 40-year-old Lauri Martel.

The boozy lorry driver later threw a bottle of wine and an empty 100cl bottle of 40% William Peel Blended Scotch Whisky out of his cab. 

A breath test taken by police revealed that Martel was almost twice over the legal drink driving limit.

Drunk HGV driver skidding | Dashcam footage UK
The driver was caught swerving all over the road by another driver’s dashcam.

Martel pleaded guilty to drink driving and has since lost his license for a year and four months. 

Policing Peterborough took to Facebook on Tuesday to post about the incident, writing: “This afternoon we were called to assist with a collision on the A1 northbound involving a HGV which was driving across both lanes, before leaving the road on the grass verge.

“The lorry was located a few miles up the road from the initial scene and pulled over in a lay-by where the driver then threw a whiskey and wine bottle from the cab!

“A breath test revealed he was almost twice the legal limit, and therefore was arrested and taken to custody leaving his lorry behind for colleagues to have to come and collect at a later date.”

Policing Peterborough’s reporting on the incident has now collected over 600 likes with more than 300 comments from Facebook users who were horrified by the event. 

James Coles wrote: “Bloody lucky he didn’t crash let alone kill someone in the process. 

“Well done all involved stopping this guy from doing the above.”

Drunk HGV driver skidding | Dashcam footage UK
Martel pleaded guilty to drunk driving and was banned from driving for one year and four months.

Suzanna Gilbey said: “Any lorry driver who thinks it’s ok to drink and be in charge of a lorry should never be allowed to drive again. 

“The carnage and loss of life they could cause is frightening.”

Chantelle Evans commented: “What would the sentence have been if he killed innocent people? 

“Justice system is messed up! 

“He should have lost his license for life!”

Jen Nixon replied: “He should have lost his licence for life!”

Michelle Whyman also wrote: “Omg! How lucky that he didn’t kill anyone!”

Lokeshwar Singh said: “One year and four months.

“What if a family was crushed?


Empty bottle of blended scotch whisky | Dashcam footage UK
The driver threw an empty bottle of 40% blended scotch whisky out of his cab window.                 (C) Policing Peterborough

Sergeant Sam Tucker, from Peterborough’s southern Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Martel admitted having been drinking whiskey on the morning he was arrested, but felt he was fit to drive. 

“Alcohol and tiredness can be a lethal combination on the roads, and for someone who drives professionally there is absolutely no excuse for it.

“Thank you to those members of the public who called us to report concerns about the manner of driving, this information enabled us to stop Martel before any potentially serious collision occurred.”


  1. ^ driver (
  2. ^ motorway (
  3. ^ motorist (

Harrogate residents’ fears after alleged lorry incident in area of intensive housing developments

The car damaged in the alleged incident at the junction of Wreaks Road and Kingsley Road in Harrogate which has alarmed members of Kingsley Ward Action Group.The car damaged in the alleged incident at the junction of Wreaks Road and Kingsley Road in Harrogate which has alarmed members of Kingsley Ward Action Group.

The car damaged in the alleged incident at the junction of Wreaks Road and Kingsley Road in Harrogate which has alarmed members of Kingsley Ward Action Group.

The alleged incident involving a heavy truck and a small car on a narrow residential street at the junction of Wreaks Road and Kingsley Road has alarmed members of Kingsley Ward Action Group.

Action group member Gary Tremble said: “This is a residential area and it is being treated like a building site with absolutely no regard for the residents.

“The car was in a collision while stationary with a truck which was on the wrong side of the road.

“To make matters worse, no rear license plate appears appears to be visible on the rear of the truck in the photograph I have.

“Trucks have to be stopped from using our road as part of a construction site.

“It’s dangerous. Is it going to take a death to get something done?”

Residents in the tightly packed narrow part of town between Kingsley Road and Bogs Lane near Knaresborough Road have been protesting about the situation for 30 months.

Kingsley Ward Action Group have fought a running battle against developers from early 2019, usually without success.

They say the lengthy list of new housing in the same part of town by different developers in what was once greenfield space is ill-judged and ill thought-out in regard to the overall consequences for the entire area near Harrogate High School and Bilton fields leading to Nidd Gorge.

Kingsley Ward Action Group claims local residents have had to cope with hundreds of truck movements a day along with the noise, pollution, dust and damage to the existing road system.

On top of that, some of their streets have been dug up more than once to lay cables, water pipes and other infrastructure by utility companies to cate for the new developments with all the noise and mess that that entails.

As well as more than 500 new houses, the end result, they add, will be hundreds of more cars feeding into the existing traffic congestion on nearby Knaresborough Road.

While criticised by Kingsley Ward Action Group, both Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council says the Local Plan and the planning system are being followed in new housing developments.

Issues such as traffic problems and transport links are assessed an, where, there are problems, they do try to intervene within correct procedure.

In fact, Harrogate Borough Council recently attempt to block one set of plans in the area for 149 new homes at Kingsley Farm.

But, after Richborough Estates’ victory at the appeal stage, they decided to relent to avoid the financial costs of a further appeal for the council and local tax payers and the risk of defeat.

Kingsley Ward Action Group has passed on details of the alleged car and lorry incident to North Yorkshire County Councils Highways & Transportation department.

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