Amazing coincidence as two Teslas avert fallen tree in Storm Dennis

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Dorset, England - In an amazing coincidence, two Tesla cars have saved the lives of two families after an ancient tree came crashing down in front of them during Storm Dennis.

The occupants of the Model X vehicles were travelling in opposite directions on the A31 in Dorset when the 400-year-old oak fell.

Luckily, for the eight travellers, the car’s autopilot technology kicked in and carried out an emergency stop, allowing them to escape with minor injuries – although both vehicles’ bonnets were crushed.

In one of the cars was Laurence Sanderson, who was driving to Dorset with his wife Anna and their three children, Max, 12, Isabella, nine, and Rex, three, for a half-term holiday.

The financial adviser described how the vehicle’s emergency brake was activated as soon as the tree fell in front of them near the village of Sturminster Marshall.

Mr Sanderson, of Brentwood, Essex, said: "Another second and we would have been crushed as I wouldn’t have been able to react in time. The car undoubtedly saved our lives. We would have been killed without it."

His wife suffered two black eyes, bruising to her chest and a bump to her head. The rest of the family was unharmed. He said: "My wife thought she was going to die when she saw the tree fall. I can’t believe we’re all still alive. Elon Musk has done us proud."

Meanwhile, the other car was being driven by construction firm director Josh Whitelock, 31, who was accompanied by his girlfriend Kitty McConnell and her mother Julia.

Mr Whitelock, from Wimborne, Dorset, told the Mirror: "I was on autopilot driving home when I saw a flash from the power line which lit up the tree as it fell. We stopped suddenly.

"There was a loud crack and then the sound of metal on metal. I was expecting to turn around and see my girlfriend and her mother impaled by branches but incredibly that wasn’t the case. We were just in pure shock. Tesla has saved eight lives."

Dorset Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service and Highways England attended the accident which happened on Saturday night.

Daily Mail

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