Two men who died in Tesla crash after ‘no one was driving’ are pictured as loved ones say they’re going through ‘hell’
THE two men killed in Texas after their self-driving Tesla flew off the road into a tree and burst into flames have been identified, and authorities are looking at their seating position to determine the cause of the wreck.
Dr. Will Varner, 59, and Everett Talbot, 69, took the reportedly driverless car for a spin on Saturday night after dropping off their wives, authorities said, just before the car hit a tree and went ablaze in The Woodlands in Houston.
5Two men were killed when their reportedly driverless Tesla drove into a treeCredit: Reuters5Everett Talbot was in the passenger seat at the time of the crashCredit: LinkedinAuthorities say both men died in the car, which was believed to be self-driving at the time, KTRK reported.
Varner, believed to be the owner of the car, was found in back seat.
His friend Talbot was in the passenger seat, the Daily Mail reported.
“We are going through a living hell right now. As his daughter, I asked everyone to wait for the investigation to be completed,” Talbot’s daughter said.
5Dr. Varner was remembered by his employer as a “tremendous human”Credit: Facebook5Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, but say the car was likely driverlessCredit: Reuters5Elon Musk has denied it was driverless, saying safety features require a driver to have their hands on the wheelCredit: ReutersAs authorities look for more details in the crash, Tesla’s Elon Musk continues to distance his company from the fiery episode.
“Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.”
But officials investigating the crash said they disagree with the car’s maker.
Mark Herman, a Constable in Harris County’s 4th Precinct, said officials are “very confident just with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one driving that vehicle,” KHOU reported.
Varner, an anesthesiologist, and Talbot, who ran a financial firm, were out on the road test driving the car’s features moments after dropping off their wives at home in the Houston neighborhood of Spring.
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“Dr. Varner was a tremendous human being who personally impacted many throughout our Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center family over the years,” wrote Varner’s employer Memorial Hermann.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, and also to those who had the privilege of working and serving alongside him in various capacities. He will be dearly missed by so many.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.