West Vancouver police are investigating the sudden acceleration of a Tesla that resulted in the vehicle slamming into a BC Ferries ramp at Horseshoe Bay terminal, causing it to break in two last Saturday.
Sgt. Mark McLean, a spokesperson for West Vancouver Police Department, told Glacier Media the driver and passenger were both taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries and are cooperating with the investigation.
“It looks like it was trying to board a ferry and suddenly accelerated into the gate, basically destroying the Tesla,” said McLean.
“We don’t know what caused it to happen,” said McLean, adding police are initially looking at either a mechanical issue, or a matter concerning the driver, which may have caused the sudden acceleration.
“It doesn’t appear alcohol was involved at all,” said McLean.
“An investigation will determine driver error or mechanical,” he added.
A photo of the aftermath shows the Tesla on an upper car ramp but split in two pieces, with its front left wheel detached and airbags deployed.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the incident occurred at a closed gate at one of the berths. Paramedics arrived at the scene and took the passengers to the hospital, she said.
“Our thoughts are with the driver and passenger. We are fully supporting the West Vancouver Police investigation into the incident as they determine the cause,” said Marshall.
“There was no vessel in the berth at the time of the incident. The vehicle was not attempting to board a ferry. Due to damage to the gate, the berth was closed for the remainder of the day,” said Marshall.
Typically, in order for a vehicle to get to the ferry ramps it would have to have been authorized to board a ferry, so it remains unclear if the vehicle was intending to board at another ramp but ended up accelerating toward one that had no ferry.
In January 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded an investigation of sudden accelerations of Tesla vehicles, finding driver error to be the source.
“More than 200 incidents involving Teslas unexpectedly accelerating and crashing were the fault of drivers confusing their brake and accelerator pedals, not a defect with the electric vehicles,” reported the Washington Post.