Bill Scott is lucky to be alive. He was headed to his office in Annapolis, Maryland, last April when a box truck rear-ended him in heavy traffic, sending his Tesla Model S P85D spinning into the path of a massive semi-truck hauling two jet engines on the freeway. Scott’s Tesla was mangled beyond recognition, but he survived the crash with only minor injuries. And thanks to some after-market tinkering by Tesla hacking engineer Jason Hughes, the crash was caught on camera.
Scott’s car took heavy impacts on both the front and back ends, but his wife Michelle says that Tesla’s design probably saved his life.
“The Tesla is built like a protective capsule around the driver,” Michelle wrote in a customer story on the Tesla website. “And it saved my husband, the father of our kids.”
Hughes regularly shops around for salvaged Teslas on the East Coast. Back in September, he discovered that Tesla’s Autopilot cameras automatically store data from the last seconds before a crash, and figured out a process to extract the data. The images from Scott’s mangled car were too good to share, and he tweeted them out on Tuesday.
Hughes bought Scott’s crushed Tesla at a scrap yard in Maryland, but didn’t realize it was the same vehicle from the customer story until he posted the footage online Tuesday.