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Man charged in Tesla crash makes court appearance

Incident gained international attention, even catching the eye of Tesla mogul Elon Musk, when video of the crash went viral online

A man charged after video of a vehicle going airborne went viral online had a court appearance on Wednesday morning.

James (Steven) Phipps, 46, is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Video of a Tesla going airborne over railroad tracks at Little Avenue and Garden Drive in south-end Barrie went viral in August, making international news.

The 2016 four-door Tesla was demolished in the crash.

David Wilcox, defence attorney for the accused, appeared in court on Phipps’ behalf to obtain Crown disclosure, and added that they intended to proceed summarily on the matter.


A further investigation by Barrie police in August determined the vehicle had been travelling at a high rate of speed northbound on Little Avenue prior to the crash.

When the vehicle approached the incline leading up to the railway tracks just north of Huronia Road, the vehicle became airborne and crashed over 100 feet into the opposing lane.

The impact of the crash forced the vehicle to skid across the roadway and hit a tree in a nearby school parking lot.

The driver and passenger were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Video of the incident, compiled from security cameras from adjacent properties by BarrieToday, gained international attention, making headlines around Canada, the U.S. and beyond, even catching the eye of Tesla mogul Elon Musk on Twitter.

Phipps will next be in court on Dec. 19.

Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings nine years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering county matters, court, Collingwood and Barrie matters
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