When his Subaru was hit by a flying Tesla, Jordan Hook didn’t expect to go viral online. But in the last two days, he’s gone from a local musician in an Americana band working part-time as a substitute teacher, to the middle of YouTube influencer drama involving Tesla culture, internet witch-hunting, and a GoFundMe campaign.
On Sunday around midnight, someone driving a rented black 2018 Tesla S-BLM launched the car from the top of the hill on Baxter Street in Los Angeles—one of the city’s steepest streets—and fully sent it for several airborne yards until it hit the pavement nose-first, hitting two parked cars before stopping.
One of the cars was Hook’s Subaru Forester. The force of the Tesla’s impact destroyed the car’s front tires, steering column, and suspension, he said. He’d recently spent $5,000 on repairing the engine, but the car was partially destroyed in the stunt.
The next morning, Hook was talking to his neighbors about what happened, and how surreal it was to see a clip of something that wrecked your transportation and savings go viral. “I'm like, man, that is so backwards,” he said. “Here I am with this car, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen. The cops are like, ‘Yeah, we don't know, we don't have a driver for it.’ So we don't know what that means, for insurance and all this other stuff. So it really had me in a dejected place, and then [the neighbors] started spitballing like, well, how can we help you out?” They decided to set up a GoFundMe for him that the community to contribute to, and recorded a short video of Hook explaining the situation.
Hook said when he spoke to LAPD officers shortly after the incident, they told him there wasn’t much they could do about the situation; he said they claimed that because it was only property damages and no one was hurt, it likely wouldn’t get prosecuted. But the tone changed, he said, after the video went viral and more news outlets started covering it. He says the police called him back 12 hours later to tell him a detective was assigned to the case.
LAPD responded to Motherboard’s request for comment with the same statement it published to social media: “There is currently no description of the driver, and the Tesla was abandoned at scene. A misdemeanor hit-and-run was completed, and detectives will be following up with the renter,” it said. The department’s offering a $1,000 reward for information on the driver.
LAPD said in a tweet that the tip line has been overwhelmed by people naming DurteDom, a social media influencer, as the driver. DurteDom posted a video allegedly of the Tesla wreck on TikTok:
And another video with the voiceover “LAPD didn’t like my stunt:”
On Twitter, he posted a video of himself eating a bag of weed gummies cut with a video of the Tesla jump:
His Instagram account is currently set to private, but the bio says “follow to see the wreck…” with a link to the gummies brand seen in the Twitter video. It’s still not clear if he was actually driving; some people think he’s just claiming the stunt for the clout.
Another Youtuber, Alex Choi, posted a video about a Tesla meetup on Saturday night, just before the jump. In the video, which has more than a million views, Choi says one driver from the meetup randomly told him he wanted to show Choi the spot where Youtuber David Dobrick jumped his Tesla in 2020, also on Baxter Street.
Choi didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Choi says in the video that the driver found a stray cat at the meetup, bought cat food for it at the Target nearby, put it in the car... and then did the jump with the cat inside. (Hook said his neighbors saw the cat briefly, before the people grabbed it and fled in the getaway Tesla.)
Choi issued a DMCA takedown on Hook’s first video for his GoFundMe, getting it removed from YouTube, because Hook used a clip from his video in it, according to a takedown notice on the video link. This all added to Hook’s annoyance at the entire situation. Hook told me he’s frustrated with Youtube stunt culture, and that whoever did this left the scene without talking to anyone.
“It's the whole attitude,” he said. “If you've watched [Choi’s] video, the fact that they come in, they do this stunt, they take no responsibility, they leave, they don't talk to the neighbors, the cops, and then come back later and try and act like it's no big deal.”
Hook said that since the incident, the community has come together with a lot of different options to help him with the fallout of being sideswiped by a Tesla fanboy. He and his old Subaru have gone viral in a way he never expected, and for a not very online guy, the experience—calls with local and national media, talking to the cops, the outpouring of support but also trolling from internet commenters taking sides or accusing him of clout chasing—has been overwhelming.
“It's gonna take a while to sort through all of those options right now,” he said. “It's just a lot for just one person, especially the person that's out of work, out of money, out of a car, to have to deal with... this is a microcosm of society that’s happening right now.”