A female Tesla driver is dead after falling into a swimming pool in San Rafael on Saturday morning, the California Highway Patrol said.
CHP said they were called to the incident just before 7:30 a.m. and that San Rafael first responders were called to the incident at an earlier time.
Officials said the woman was driving the 2019 Tesla west on Point San Pedro Road when she went off the road and ended up in the pool of a residence on Bonnie Banks Way.
CHP said no one was injured in that crash.
According to CHP Officer Darrel Horner, the woman was not wearing a seat belt.
San Rafael Police and the San Rafael Fire Department were the first to arrive at the scene, and the driver was pronounced dead, Horner said.
It is unclear why the car swerved or if it was on autopilot at the time of the accident.
“We are still investigating, we are not sure if any of this played a role in this accident but everything is being investigated, we will be able to download the information from the vehicle,” said Horner.
Horner said at the time CHP did not believe alcohol or drugs played a role in this crash, but they were continuing the investigation. Horner also noted that road conditions at the time of the accident were clear, dry, and free of ice.
CHP said the Marin County coroner will be investigating the cause of death of this person and will release the identity of the deceased once next of kin have been notified. NBC Bay Area has contacted the Marin County Coroner’s Office, but we have received no response.
Barbara Kuffner lives in the house in San Rafael where this Tesla crashed. She said she was sleeping in her bedroom right in front of her garden pool when she heard a loud noise around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Kuffner initially thought he heard thunder and lightning.
A friend was staying at Kuffner’s that day and first spotted the Tesla in the pool, she said. This friend instructed her to call 911 while he was trying to get the driver out of the car.
“And the car went down and he knew there was a person in there and he tried to break the car up to get the person out but he couldn’t,” Kuffner recalled.
She said when paramedics arrived they pronounced the driver dead. Kuffner said she was asked to leave her backyard while the investigation unfolded.
A towing company eventually arrived and carried the Tesla out of the pool using a crane, pool water pouring out of the Tesla as it traveled through the air.
“There is still a lot of debris and insurance companies have to intervene,” explained Kuffner.
As she picks up the bits of damage, Kuffner said she’s grateful she, her friend, and her friend’s dog weren’t in the backyard Saturday morning.
“All three of us could have been out there at the time and we might not be alive now, life is a matter of timing,” she said.
Bay City News contributed to the report.