Tesla driver ‘bragged about autopilot feature’ before dying in horror crash

A Tesla driver 'bragged' about the car's impressive autopilot feature weeks before dying in a horror crash.

The dad-of-two died at around 2.30am on May 5, after his white Tesla Model 3 struck an overturned semi on a freeway in Fontana, 50 miles outside of Los Angeles.

Cops are now investigating if the car's autopilot mode was a "contributing factor" in the accident.

Another man, who was aiding the driver of the semi out of the wreck was also seriously injured when he was hit by the Tesla.

On Thursday, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the car's autopilot "was engaged" before the smash, but later added saying "no final determination made."

Hendrickson previously posted on social media about his car, including boasting several times about driving the car with no hands.

A video on his Instagram account showed him sitting in the driver's seat without touching the wheel or pressing down on the pedals as the vehicle drove through freeway traffic.

“Best carpool buddy possible even takes the boring traffic for me,” he wrote alongside the clip.

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Two videos on TikTok show a man driving with his hands on the wheel.

A message on one said: "What would do I do without my full self-driving Tesla after a long day at work."

“Coming home from LA after work, thank god, self-drive,” said a comment on another, adding, “Best car ever!”

The dad's Facebook also features a video while driving on the autopilot mode, saying: "Don't worry. I am on autopilot."

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The Tesla Club-SoCal, which Hendrickson is believed to be a member of, is planning to organise a remembrance drive in his memory.

“Every time we spoke to him, he would light up talking about his kids and loved his Tesla,” the club posted on Instagram.

“He was truly an amazing human being and will be missed!”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for his funeral and memorial service.

The CHP issued a comment on the crash as it provided “an opportunity to remind the public that driving is a complex task that requires a driver’s full attention.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating the accident and is the 29th case involving a Tesla the federal agency has proved.

At least three people are believed to have died in crashes involving autopilot in the US.

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In Florida, two crashes in 2016 and 2019 saw the Tesla drivers die when their cars with autopilot drove beneath crossing tractor-trailers.

Tesla states in owner's manuals and on its website that 'Full Self-Driving' and autopilot modes are not fully autonomous and drivers must pay attention when behind the wheel and be ready to take action at any time.

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