Tesla vs Honda head on collision

This doesn't look good. Not sure that it is a model S. anyone have an update?

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Two people were killed and one person was injured in a head-on collision in Laguna Beach Tuesday.

Authorities say a Honda and a Tesla collided on Laguna Canyon Road at 6:43 a.m. Both fatal victims were in the Honda. The driver of the Tesla was rushed to a local hospital in unknown condition.

The cause of the accident has not yet been determined. Laguna Canyon Road was shut down between El Toro Road and State Route 73 due to the crash investigation.

DEVELOPING: We will add more details to this report as they become available.

Has anyone heard any followup on this accident?

Latest update:

Still no news on accident details, pending police investigation.

Interesting that the victims' families have named a number of governmental entities as defendants, but the article does not state that they named the drivers of the Model S and the Mercedes. I suspect that is because the police have not yet released the names of those drivers pending a criminal investigation, and so the plaintiffs do not yet have that information.

First rule of lawsuits: go after the deep pockets.


Going back and reading both news stories, it would seem the doc and the victims' families are both on the same side of the issue, blaming the accident on poorly maintained signage.


Seems pretty crappy that a merge sign was covered up, a guy seemingly got forced into oncoming traffic, and is now facing 9 years in prison for it... for a road that is 2 lanes, 1 lane for less than a mile, then 2 lanes again.

Pretty crazy circumstances, there.

The Tesla driver drove illegally in the closed center lane for over 500 feet before he collided with the Honda. The crazy thing is that he would have passed the Honda safely had he stayed in the illegal lane. But he drifted out of the closed lane and into the Honda's lane. My guess is because he was still racing the MB and was going too fast to handle the bend in the road. Probably over 100mph. We'll see what the black box told prosecutors as the facts unfold.

Not sure if your interpretation of what happened is necessarily correct. I've seen too many times people racing for the merged lane. Not saying he'll spend time in jail he just need to get a good lawyer. Anyway just be careful and don't overestimate your ability even when you're driving a fast car.

The Tesla can easily drift at speed. I have drifted Ferrari's at high speed unintentionally. Scared the you-know-what out of me.

I’m curious how the media will spin this news as a way to make the MS the culprit.

I can see FOX News now… “Is the Tesla: Model S a killer car?!?”

I lived in the area 1968-1972. Laguna Canyon Rd has always been known as a dangerous route. I always try to avoid it, and never drive it at night.


Yes, I agree 100%! I live in the area, and know the very road well. It has always had a deadly reputation :-(


Killer car means a car that kills or means an awesome car?

It may not necessarily be a bad thing business-wise. There are a lot people out there with that "Hummer mentality" and would buy a car just for that image.


Yes, I agree... I was being sarcastic based on all the BS coming from the right-wing media, critics, and stock shorts, whom have been slamming the MS based on ignorant hyperbole...

Brutal tragedy, I lost many friends in the 70's and 80's to mountain racing in Eastern Kentucky. It never made sense the next day.

I doubt we will see many media stories heralding the safety of the Model S out of this though.


NEWPORT BEACH – A doctor is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for killing two men in a high-speed crash while driving into oncoming traffic on the highway. Robert McFarland Pettis, 48, Laguna Beach, is charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of driving the wrong way on a divided highway causing death, and sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily harm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of nine years and eight months in state prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At approximately 6:40 a.m. on April 2, 2013, Pettis is accused of driving at a high rate of speed in his Tesla Model S northbound on State Route 133 in Laguna Beach. Pettis is accused of crossing over the double yellow lines into the southbound lanes and driving into oncoming traffic. He is accused of crashing head-on into a Honda Accord and killing 47-year-old driver Alberto Casique and his passenger, 38-year-old Armando Gonzalez.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene due to vehicular blunt force trauma as a result of the collision.

This case was investigated by the Laguna Beach Police Department. Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

I don't understand our judicial system. In the follow up just posted, the Tesla driver was charged with causing the death of the other drivers. Two different charges for each with victim. But then there are "sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily harm." What? The charges were due to causing their death in a motor vehicle accident. Doesn't that imply great bodily harm?

If the Tesla driver was racing then throw the book at him. But these enhancements make no sense. Let's see, maybe we can add the enhancements of a hate crime because the victims were a different race.

Presumably hate crime charges wouldn't stick unless it could be shown that he believed they were of some other race, whatever a race is, and deliberately caused the accident.

On the other hand, less than ten years for being such a [redacted] and killing two people because you're such an [redacted] seems pretty light, as he'll probably be out in five years.

Don't really know the details of the accident, but is jail the best punishment in this case given his value to society as a surgeon?

Wow. Thanks for sharing that Bighorn.

That really makes one think. Just about anyone wouldn't conclude that he would be a danger to society if he were free. I'd hate to see him take up space in prison that could be used for someone that had the potential to do harm.

I'd bet my life that he would to anything and everything not get in such a situation again and he would probably do everything in his power to educate others on how to avoid those circumstances as well.

The punishment proposed will not make things better for anyone involved. That isn't justice. It is revenge. I am sure that no one can punish him more than he has already punished himself. If I were judge for a day I'd have him do surgeries on those that do not have access to care or something like that. Two productive lives were already lost. What point is there in losing a third to a prison?

The point is deterring other people with fast, expensive cars from acting similarly.

Are we really suggesting that people be treated differently based on their "value to society?"

Guys justice is a system for the entire society not for any individual cases. It's not if you want to punish anyone it's you have to tell everyone to be responsible for their acts under the law or they will need to bear the consequences. It's just too costly to use two lives to learn a lesson as C_Z suggests would happen to this guy.

The purpose of prisons is to protect society from harm and to provide an opportunity to rehabilitate. I think every sentence should take into consideration the individual's character and potential, or lack thereof. I think that recidivism is not an issue in this case.

The arraignment was scheduled for November 18th. I wonder what the status of the case is now?

It is also wrong if someone's individual story is being made into an example.
That isn't justice either...

From the article linked above by Bighorn...

"It's important not to have an ego."

He probably should have kept that in mind behind the wheel too.

Something I'm certainly going to keep in mind as I've been guilty of when driving.

If things are as the prosecutor alleges, he will need to keep working to pay the sizable civil judgement he has coming.

C_Z I don't disagree with what you said about this individual but the grand scheme of the justice system is still to send unmistaken message that you're responsible for your action no matter who you are. Otherwise I would not want to travle the roads that respected citizens of the society often travel. Another example is did you see what was the result when the system was paricular lenient to some abusive priests or other authoritive persons years back? It just became ticktes for others to do the same. None of them repented.

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