Investigation Reveals What Triggered Deadly Tesla Crash and It Wasn’t Autopilot

Photograph: Justin Sullivan (Getty Pictures)

The Nationwide Transportation Security Board (NTBS) concluded its investigation into the lethal Tesla car crash in Texas that killed two males in 2021. The investigation report launched on Wednesday mentioned the boys, who have been recognized by KHOU11 as Dr. William Varner and Everette Talbot, entered the car with Varner stepping into the driving force’s seat and Talbot getting into the passenger seat earlier than exiting the driveway.

First responders arrived on the wreckage at about 9:07 p.m. on April 17, 2021, to seek out the 2019 Tesla Model S crashed right into a tree and on hearth solely 550 toes from the place it departed. Varner’s physique was discovered within the backseat of the automotive, main investigators to initially imagine the automotive had been on autopilot when it crashed.

Nevertheless, the newly launched report discovered that the autopilot function wouldn’t have been activated as a result of there weren’t any lane strains on that highway that are required for Tesla’s Visitors-Conscious Cruise Management system to work. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and executives responded to criticism that the automotive was at fault 9 days after the crash.

A Tesla govt informed KHOU11 on the time, “We inspected the automotive with NTSB and NTHSA and the native police and we have been capable of finding that the steering wheel was certainly deformed.” They added, “So there was resulting in the probability that somebody was within the driver’s seat on the time of the crash and all seatbelts post-crash have been discovered to be unbuckled.”

Different elements included the cruise system wouldn’t have labored over 30 mph on that highway, however the Tesla occasion information recorder discovered the car reached 67 mph solely two seconds earlier than it crashed. Based on the report, the recorder confirmed the acceleration was “in step with driver exercise” and revealed that the seatbelt had been in use when the automotive hit the tree.

“Although the driver’s seat was found vacant and the driver was found in the left rear seat, the available evidence suggests that the driver was seated in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash and moved into the rear seat postcrash,” the report said.

The report confirmed that the driver was excessively speeding and failed to control the car due to impairment from a 1.5% alcohol level. Results showed the driver was under the influence of two sedative antihistamines and alcohol which caused him to swerve off the road and collide with a tree, ending in a “post-crash fire.”

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said it took four hours to extinguish the flames and more than 30,000 gallons of water. NTBS reported that the lithium-ion battery in the vehicle had caused the car to erupt in flames, killing the passengers, and is recommending car manufacturers provide information on how to extinguish fires caused by the high-voltage lithium-ion batteries to better prepare emergency response teams with a “quicker and easier” way “to find the necessary information.”

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