Here’s a pro tip: If you’re driving down your average city street at a clip of 128 MPH, you’re going too fast. It’s as simple as that. But, for Jose Manuel Soto, traffic laws or speed limits apparently didn’t matter. In February 2019, a 128 MPH driving session turned into a ran red light, and now the Florida man is in a world of trouble.
The Tesla owner is facing three counts of reckless driving and causing serious bodily injury after the Tesla Model S he was driving in T-boned an Infiniti SUV on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach. All three people inside the Infiniti were treated for serious injuries, with one person going into a several-week coma and another sustaining multiple fractures and a collapsed lung. The third person suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“This very severe crash resulted in everyone being transported to JMH,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, according to NBC Miami. “Miraculously no one lost their lives.”
According to a police report, Soto was able to lower his speed to 93 MPH in the 45 MPH zone before the Tesla crash. Surveillance video also shows that the light the Tesla driver was approaching had been red for six seconds and that he had still been accelerating only five seconds before impact.
“The force of the impact was so great that the Tesla vehicle almost cut the larger, heavier Infiniti in half,” the report reads.
The intense incident even got the attention of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who inserted himself into a speculative conversation on Twitter over whether or not Tesla’s Autopilot mode was in use at the time of the crash.
Now, the Tesla autopilot system having a max speed limit of 90 MPH maybe still isn’t the safest of settings, but you still can’t exactly pin this on the California-based automaker either.
This post was originally published on February 20, 2019.