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Man Who Died in Self-Driving Tesla Crash Was Watching 'Harry Potter' Film During Wreck: Witness


The Tesla owner who was killed while inside his self-driving car was watching a Harry Potter movie at the time, according to a witness.

Robert VanKavelaar told Inside Edition that Joshua Brown's wrecked car ended up in his yard outside Gainesville, Florida, after it smashed into a tractor-trailer in May.

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"There was a movie playing," VanKavelaar said. "I could hear it... The police officer told me it was a 'Harry Potter' movie."

Police say they found a portable DVD player inside Brown's car. Tesla told Inside Edition that it's not possible to watch a movie on the vehicle's touchscreen display and no movie was playing at the time of the crash.

But in one online video, a hacker claims she too was able to override the car's systems to play Terminator 2 on its display.

Tesla said: "Tesla’s infotainment system firmware has never been able to play videos from anywhere on the vehicle touchscreen. The demonstration referenced was a risky and completely unsupported effort by one individual to run custom software on the center display, which completely replaced all of Tesla's functionality (e.g. navigation, media player). However, it is important to confirm that there was not a movie playing on the infotainment screen of the Tesla involved in the recent accident."

Brown, who had served in the fabled SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that took down Osama bin Laden, was killed after the crash on May 7.

In a statement after his death, Tesla said: "Neither autopilot, nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied."

Read: Navy SEAL Killed While Behind the Wheel of Self-Driving Tesla

Since his death, it has also emerged that Brown had eight speeding tickets in six years. Most recently, he was allegedly clocked driving 64 MPH in a 35 zone.

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