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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been sentenced to two years on probation for causing an injury crash while working as an Uber driver and trying to show off for his passengers in his brand-new Tesla.

42-year-old Eldon Nelson was also ordered to pay a $1000 fine for his conviction on a felony count of criminal vehicular operation. He earlier entered a guilty plea to the charge through a plea agreement that led to the dismissal of two other felony counts and a gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation.

Tesla Shares Up 8 Percent After Announcement Of Stock Split
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

According to the criminal complaint, Nelson told the State Patrol that the crash occurred after he accelerated to around 90 mph on an entrance ramp to Highway 52 on the night of April 29, 2022. He ended up losing control of the electric vehicle and the first State Troopers to arrive at the crash site described finding "a Tesla blocking the left and center lanes facing west, nearly perpendicular to the highway."

State Trooper
photo by Andy Brownell/Townsquare Media-Rochester

The court document indicates reports submitted by the State Troopers stated that the airbags in the Tesla had been activated and they "found a man with blood on his face lying on his back on the highway to the south of the car. A woman in the grass on the side of the road, and another walking with a limp." The woman told the troopers that she and three friends were sharing an Uber ride and were discussing the brand-new car when Nelson "accelerated to a frightening speed, lost control, and crashed into the concrete median."

Kim David/TSM
Kim David/TSM

Three of the passengers suffered broken bones in the crash. The criminal complaint says one of them was also left with fractured vertebrae, and another was knocked unconscious by the violent collision.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth


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