Woman Dies After Tesla Crashes Into San Rafael Pool: CHP

A Tesla driver is dead after she crashed into a swimming pool in San Rafael 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 had been called to the incident at an earlier time.

Officials said the woman was driving westbound on Point San Pedro Road in the 2019 Tesla when she veered off the road, and ended up in the pool at a residence on Bonnie Banks Way.

CHP said no one else was hurt in this crash.

According to CHP Officer Darrel Horner, the woman wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

San Rafael Police and San Rafael Fire Department were first to arrive on the scene, and the driver was pronounced dead, Horner said.

It’s unclear why the car veered or whether it was in autopilot at the time of the crash.

“At this time it’s still under investigation, we’re not sure if any of that played a role in this crash but everything will be looked at, we will be able to download the information from the vehicle,” Horner said.

Horner said at this time, CHP does not suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor in this crash, but they are continuing to investigate. Horner also noted that road conditions were clear, dry, and free of ice at the time of the crash.

CHP said that the Marin County Coroner will be looking into this individual’s cause of death and will share the identity of the deceased once next of kin have been notified. NBC Bay Area reached out to the Marin County Coroner’s office but we have not heard back.

Barbara Kuffner lives in the home in San Rafael where this Tesla crashed. She said she was asleep in her bedroom just outside her backyard pool when she heard a loud noise at around 6:30 a.m. Saturday. At first, Kuffner thought she had heard thunder and lightning.

A friend was staying over at Kuffner’s house that day and spotted the Tesla in the pool first, she said. This friend instructed her to call 911 while he attempted to get the driver out of the car.

“And the car was sinking and he knew there was a person in there, and he was trying to break the car to get the person out but he couldn’t,” Kuffner recalled.

She said by the time paramedics arrived, they declared the driver dead. Kuffner said she was asked to leave her backyard while the investigation played out.

A towing company eventually came and carried the Tesla out of the pool with a crane, with pool water rushing out of the Tesla as it traveled through the air.

“There’s still a bunch of debris and insurance companies have to get involved,” Kuffner explained.

As she picks up the pieces of the damage, Kuffner said she is feeling grateful that she, her friend, and her friend’s dog were not in the backyard Saturday morning.

“All three of us could have been out there at that time and we might not be alive right now, life’s a timing thing,” she said.

Bay City News contributed to the report.

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