Cops: Nobody Was Behind Wheel Of Tesla Involved In Fatal Texas Crash

There was no driver behind the wheel of a Tesla that last night crashed into a tree and burst into flames, costing the two occupants their lives, Texas police report.

Investigators say the 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at a high rate of speed when it approached a slight curve in Spring, a Houston suburb. Instead of navigating the bend, the fully-electric car drove straight off the road and struck a tree.

Two men died in the crash. When their bodies were recovered from the Tesla wreckage (seen above), neither man was seated behind the wheel, cops say. One victim was in the front passenger seat, while the other was in the backseat.

A police report identifies the victims as Everette Talbot, a 69-year-old engineer, and William Varner, a 59-year-old anesthesiologist who owned the Tesla.

Investigators suspect that the vehicle was running in Tesla’s “Autopilot” mode, which the manufacturer says “enables your car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane.” However, the feature does not make the car autonomous and requires “active driver supervision,” according to Tesla’s website.

A preliminary investigation left police certain that the driver’s seat was unoccupied at the time of the 11:25 PM crash. The Tesla ran off the road a couple of blocks from the residence of Varner, whose body was found in a rear seat.

Last year, a North Carolina motorist was watching a movie on his phone when his Tesla Model S, running in “Autopilot” mode, crashed into a police car that had stopped on a highway due to a prior accident. The Tesla owner, an emergency room doctor, was charged with a pair of vehicular law violations.