Tesla Collides With Truck on Florida Freeway, Injuring 3 People

Three people have been hospitalized in Florida after a Tesla collided into a Department of Transportation Road Ranger truck, the latest in a series of recent crashes involving vehicles made by the electric car company.

The crash occurred on Wednesday at around 5:15 a.m. on the northbound lanes of I-95 in Miami-Dade County, Florida, according to the state's Department of Highway Safety.

The department told NBC Miami on Wednesday that the Road Ranger truck was blocking the left lane of the highway to help clear debris from an earlier crash when the Tesla collided with it.

The department said that the rangers in the truck had blocked the lane by using traffic cones and flashing lights at the time of the collision.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews quickly responded to the scene of the crash, and both passengers inside of the truck were taken to Jackson North Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Tesla was transported to the Ryder Trauma Center with severe, but non-life-threatening, injuries. An investigation into the collision is ongoing and the department is looking into whether the driver of the Tesla was using the partially automated driving system Autopilot at the time of the crash.

There have been a number of road collisions involving Tesla vehicles over the past year, with four fatalities reported from passengers putting the cars into Autopilot.

On May 5, a 35-year-old man was killed in Fontana, California, when his Tesla Model 3 struck an overturned vehicle on the freeway at around 2:30 a.m. while the car was in Autopilot mode.

While on Saturday, a Tesla driving on Autopilot crashed into a deputy's vehicle in Arlington, Washington, causing "significant damage" to the police car.

There were no injuries reported from the incident, but the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook statement that the crash is a "great reminder that vehicles may have autopilot to assist, but it cannot be relied upon to get you safely from one destination to the next."

In owner manuals, Tesla says that both Autopilot and "Full Self-Driving" are not fully autonomous and that drivers must be ready to intervene when using the feature.

Several Teslas have collided with police and fire vehicles parked on freeways with their emergency lights on, causing the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend earlier this year that the car company develop a stronger system. Tesla has not yet taken any action.

Newsweek has contacted the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Tesla for comment.

Tesla logo Miami-Dade crash
Close-up of Tesla Motors logo against a bright blue sky in Pleasanton, California, July 23, 2018. Three people were injured on Wednesday May 19 when Tesla collided into a Florida Department of Transportation Road Ranger truck. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images