This Reckless Tesla Jump Stunt Has Landed The Driver In Serious Trouble

It's well documented that human beings have no problem engaging in activities that range between crazy and stupid, as long as there's a camera present to record their shenanigans. Heck, we've seen more than one television series for which this fact serves as the central premise and the "Jackass" franchise is still going strong more than 20 years after first hitting the airwaves on MTV. It seems people who drive electric vehicles are not immune to the thirst for notoriety after engaging in some dangerous amateur stunt action. 

We get it: a Tesla lets drivers do a lot of unconventional things behind the wheel of the flagship Model S cars. But just because Tesla allows drivers to play video games in the vehicle doesn't mean people should start driving them like they're characters from the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise; it's a safe guess that launching the vehicle over a hill and flying through the air like a Hollywood stunt driver isn't covered in the Tesla owner's manual — or most insurance policies. Nevertheless, that's exactly what happened early on the morning of Sunday, March 20, when a Los Angeles driver took off flying with a rented 2018 Tesla Model S near the Echo Park neighborhood. Naturally, plenty of people were on hand to record the stunt in all its reckless, dangerous glory, though we're guessing they weren't expecting to see the events unfold in the manner in which they did. Clearly the driver was going too fast and we're guessing the rental agency is pretty furious.

The Tesla incident went viral on Sunday morning

The Los Angeles Police Department's Central Traffic Division released a video on YouTube Sunday, featuring footage of the dangerous Tesla stunt seemingly compiled from social media content. The clip starts with zero buildup and viewers witness a shaky video of a black Tesla flying through the air, with the person recording audibly gasping in disbelief. "On March 20, 2022, at 12:10 a.m., the rental driver of a black 2018 Tesla S-BLM decided to perform a dangerous stunt, at Baxter Street and Alvarado Street, where he collided with several trash cans and two parked vehicles," the video's description reads in part. "The stunt was recorded by several spectators who posted it on several social media accounts."

As you can see in the video above, the Tesla cleared the hill and then dove face-first onto the opposite side of the street, causing the front of the car to make a full collision with the pavement below. After that, the driver presumably lost control of their rented Model S and zoomed downhill, crashing into the cars and trash bins. About 13 seconds in, the video cuts to another clip and you can hear a woman's voice asking if the onlookers should call 911, to which an unknown person replied "No, I don't think so. Everyone is fine." Based on the footage, it appears that both front-seat airbags deployed, and the hood of the vehicle was visibly banged up, especially near the headlights. The LAPD's YouTube caption reveals the driver abandoned the car at the scene.

LAPD is searching for the hit-and-run Tesla driver

Everyone involved with the Tesla crash got away from the situation without any serious injuries, but now authorities are searching for more information about the driver, according to KTLA. The current reward for finding them is $1,000. If you were scrolling through Twitter or Reddit on Sunday morning, you most likely caught the incident from several angles, and many internet users had something to say about it. One tweet jokingly captioned the event "My boy had a Tesla rally last night. I was supposed to co-host. Glad I didn't go. I'm old and washed now. These kids today are wild."

The owner of one of the parked cars, a Subaru, has started a GoFundMe to raise $20,000 so it can be replaced. Meanwhile, popular Tesla YouTuber Alex Choi confirmed via Twitter that he has tried to get the Subaru owner's video taken down, making it impossible to watch the YouTube video on his GoFundMe page. "Yes, I filed a copyright/ defamation strike on a YouTube video, claiming that I orchestrated and coordinated the stunt, which is the furthest from truth," Choi tweeted. "There is no crime in being a witness," he added, saying that he made a $2,000 contribution and that the Subaru owner's car will be fixed for free.

This isn't the first time a Tesla vehicle has "caught air." In September 2018, a DEA plane collided with a Tesla Model X owner in Texas, but the driver attested to the electric vehicle's "safety rating," which evidently ensured that no further harm could be done to them, according to Electrek.