Tesla cars are among the safest, if not the safest cars on the road, having achieved perfect safety ratings across the entire lineup. CEO Elon Musk has even said that due to the company’s airbag technology, which adjusts how they are deployed depending on who is sitting and how they are sitting, an unbelted child sitting in the front seat in a bad position, would be “probably still be fine” in an accident.
That high level of safety was on full display last week after seven occupants in a refresh Model S survived a crash that sent the car plunging 30ft into a backyard. Six of the occupants were children, and making the story even more unbelievable, only one was wearing a seatbelt.
The incident occurred on Thanksgiving night, when the owner reportedly took his six nieces and nephews out for a ride at about 11:30pm in South Jordan, Utah.
According to police, the 37-year old driver, Sharanjit Singh Multani lost control while speeding, causing the Model S to fly past a guardrail and plunge 30ft into Jeremy and Amber Lindley’s backyard.
“I think it took all three trees out. We didn’t see any marks in the ground between here and there. It appears that it came through the air, all the way from there to here,” Jeremy Lindley told KSLTV.
“It was so loud. There were three really loud bangs, and then followed by just debris, sand, and rocks hitting our window. I have never heard anything like that before,” said Amber Lindley.
After hearing the massive crash, the couple ran outside to find the mangled car just a few feet from their bedroom window. In the immediate aftermath, they couldn’t see inside the car, but could hear screaming.
As they started pulling the children out of the car, they were fearing the worst, but realized after getting all 7 to safety, no one was seriously injured.
All 7 occupants were able to walk away with only minor injuries.
Based on a police report of the incident, Multani was driving at a “very high rate of speed” at the time of the crash. Not only were five of the six children not wearing a seatbelt, a four-year old was also not in a car seat.
The driver was arrested and charged with suspicion of driving under the influence with a minor, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, failure to provide a child restraint device, and failure to secure seat belt for child 8-16 years old.
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) November 29, 2021
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated it was a Model 3. This has been corrected as it was actually a refresh Model S involved in the accident.