A Tesla that was supposedly on Autopilot crashed into a tree near Houston on April 16, killing both passengers. It's been revealed that one of the passengers is William Varner, MD, an anesthesiologist who worked at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Texas. Now there is some controversy regarding this tragic accident.
Initially, it was reported that the crash occurred when two men were trying out the Autopilot feature in the Tesla. When the police investigated the incident, they reported that nobody was in the driver's seat. One was in the front passenger seat and one was in the backseat. They said they were almost 100% sure of their findings.
The crash was so intense that it took the firefighters over four hours and 32,000 gallons of water to put it out. It was complicated by the nature of the flame, which was an electrical fire, not the usual gasoline fire that firefighters are more used to. The fire was so stubborn that the firemen had to call Tesla for advise on how to extinguish it. By the time the fire burned out, the vehicle was just a metal carcass, almost unrecognizable.
When news of the accident came out, Tesla's stock price dropped immediately when the stock market opened. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, then quickly came to the rescue of his company.
Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2021
Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.
Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.
He claims that the Tesla in the accident didn't have its Autopilot featured turned on prior to the crash. In addition, that car didn't purchase the complete Full Self Driving features that costs an extra $10,000. Therefore it's not the cars fault that it crashed into the tree. Somehow two people were in the car and nobody was in the driver's seat when it was moving but the Autopilot wasn't on. Not sure how to square these claims and counterclaims.
When I first read this story a few days ago, I thought it was just another case of good ole boys doing stupid things late at night after having too many drinks. Now that we know one of the victims is a respected anesthesiologist, it makes me question the entire assertion about the police findings. Guess we'll hear more when the investigation continues.
RIP Dr. Varner.