Driver Who Was Watching Movie When His Tesla Struck Cop Car Gets Legal Pass

The Tesla owner who was watching a movie when his car, traveling in autopilot mode, struck a North Carolina police cruiser has walked away from the crash legally unscathed, records show.

Prosecutors recently dismissed a pair of charges filed against Devainder Goli following the August 2020 crash on Highway 64 near Raleigh. Goli, a 67-year-old doctor, was cited for watching TV while driving and failing to move over.

Both counts were dropped last month by prosecutors, according to a District Court filing which does not offer an explanation for the dismissal, but indicates that Goli’s insurer paid more than $28,000 in property damage claims.

Goli’s lawyer, Henry Neese, did not return TSG calls about the case. In an email, Heather Nicol, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, wrote that the dismissal notice “is all we will be legal able to tell you. Have a wonderful day.”

According to police, Goli (seen at right) was driving home around midnight when his 2015 Tesla Model S sedan struck a Nash County Sheriff's Office squad car, which then caromed into a North Carolina State Highway Patrol vehicle. Both autos were stopped on the highway due to an earlier accident.

Two cops--who were both outside their vehicles--were knocked to the ground in the crash, but not seriously injured.

A police investigation determined that Goli was watching a movie on his phone while the Tesla traveled in autopilot mode, guided by a series of cameras and ultrasonic sensors.

As seen in the below evidence photos, Goli’s Tesla and the sheriff’s vehicle suffered significant damage in the crash.