5 deputy constables sue Tesla after crash involving autopiloted car in Montgomery County

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021
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The Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable deputies were working a traffic stop when the driver of a Tesla slammed into one of their cruisers, causing a chain-reaction collision.

SPLENDORA, Texas (KTRK) -- Five Montgomery County deputy constables are suing Tesla after they were injured in a crash back in February when the driver of the company's Model X rear-ended a cruiser during a traffic stop.

The video above is from a previous story.

According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 27, the Tesla was engaged in autopilot mode when the vehicle struck five law enforcement SUVs on the Eastex Freeway near East River End in Montgomery County.

The driver of the original vehicle that had been stopped was standing on the shoulder of the road when the crash happened, seriously injuring that person. One of the deputy constables was conducting a search underneath the engine compartment of the vehicle during the initial stop, according to Splendora police Lt. Troy Keller.

There was no indication the driver of the Tesla slowed down prior to impact and was believed to have been intoxicated, authorities said. The Tesla driver was not injured in the crash and was taken into custody on a DWI charge.

The lawsuit states that the crash was ultimately unavoidable due to the vehicle manufacturer's "failure to adequately warn of defects and Tesla's unwillingness to admit or correct such defects."

Initial reports described most of the deputy constables' injuries as ranging from scrapes to back injuries. One of them may have suffered a possible broken arm. According to the lawsuit, the law enforcement officers are seeking damages for injuries and permanent disabilities.

The plaintiffs have been identified as Daniel Santiago, Dalton Fields, Chris Taylor, Kenneth Barnett and Rai Duenas.

The lawsuit lists damages in excess of $1 million, with maximum damages of $20 million.

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