Six school children and a parent have been taken to hospital after they were hit by a Tesla car in the school car park of Ardingly College in West Sussex.
One of the children was reportedly flown to hospital with serious injuries after the incident involving a blue Tesla Inc Model 3 car, during a “holiday camp pick-up”, the school’s headmaster Ben Figgis said.
The eight-year-old boy with the most serious, but not life threatening, injuries was flown to St George’s Hospital in London by air amnbulance.
The six other casualties with minor injuries were taken to local hospitals, while the 47-year-old female Tesla driver was unhurt, the police said.
Officers responded to reports of a collision involving the blue Tesla car and pedestrians just after 4:30pm on College Road, Ardingly, the police confirmed.
A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: ‘Following an RTC in Ardingly this afternoon, our crews treated & transported 6 patients, 5 children & 1 adult, to local hospitals; 3 with potentially serious injuries.
‘One patient in a critical condition was transported by air ambulance to St Georges, London.’
Sussex Police is appealing for information about the incident.
Supt James Collis, of Sussex Police, said: “The cause of the collision will form part of our investigation, and we ask people not to speculate at this time.
‘Thank you to those that have already given details. Anyone else who saw what happened or who has any other information, including any relevant dash cam or mobile phone footage, is asked to please get in touch.’
Meanwhile, Horsham MP Jeremy Quin described the incident as “deeply shocking.”
“I was deeply concerned to hear of the incident at the College and the injuries sustained,” he said. “It must have been deeply shocking for all involved. Our thoughts are with all those affected.
It is yet unclear whether the driver was using the autopilot function of the Tesla at the time of the incident.
It came on the same day that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation into Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, after repeated crashes with emergency vehicles.
The US investigation will include all Tesla Model 3 vehicles released between 2014 and 2021.
Tesla has been asked for comment on the incident.