US: 2 Killed As Tesla Bursts Into Flames After Crashing, ‘no One One Was Driving’

Two men were killed in a crash in Texas while riding in a Tesla car that police said almost certainly had no one behind the wheel, Associated Press reported on April 18. The Tesla vehicle, a 2019 Model S, crashed into a tree and burst into flames. As per reports, one person was found in the front passenger seat, and another in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle after the wreck in the Houston suburb of Spring. 

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said, “They (authorities) feel very confident just with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one driving that vehicle”. 

2 killed in Tesla crash

The deputies further informed that the car was travelling fast and failed to navigate a turn before running off the road, hitting a tree and bursting into flames on Saturday night.

Firefighters reportedly used 3,200 gallons of water and spent hours suppressing the fire that resulted from the fiery crash. The officials did not reveal the identity of the victims, but they informed that one was 69 and the other was 59.  As per reports, a brother-in-law of one of the victims said that it took four hours to extinguish the blaze.

The officials also informed that the vehicle’s batteries reignited and deputies even called Tesla to ask how to put out the fire. Tesla does publish information for first responders, including the location of high-voltage lines.  Now, the Federal traffic safety officials are investigating several Tesla crashes in which the vehicle’s Autopilot function may have been used, including crashes in which cars drove under tractor-trailers.

But it is worth mentioning that the company warns customers that its driver-assist system, called Autopilot, is not an autonomous-driving programme and that they must pay attention and be ready to take control of the vehicle.

However, last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said that the design of the system allows drivers to avoid paying attention and fails to limit where Autopilot can be used. 

Musk touts Tesla’s accident data 

Meanwhile, just a few hours before the report of the crash in Texas, Tesla CEO Elon Musk touted the company’s self-reported, first-quarter accident data.

While taking to Twitter, Musk said that the electric vehicle’s autopilot is now approaching 10 times lower chance of an accident than an average vehicle. “We registered one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged,” the press note read. 

(Image: AP/Unsplash)