A Tesla Car Crashed and Burned Resulting in Two Fatalities

A Tesla car crash occurred on April 17 in Houston, Texas that led to the death of the driver and passenger in the car.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the accident. However, it has not yet reached conclusions about the operation of the crash vehicle.

At this point, the Tesla Model S investigation has discovered the following:

  • Autosteer was not activated and therefore Autopilot could not have been engaged
  • The road where the crash occurred did not allow Autosteer to be enabled in that location
  • The security camera showed the owner in the driver’s seat and passenger in the passenger’s seat when the car started

Other Details About the Tesla Car Crash

The initial report was in error, stating that the driver was in the back seat, the passenger was in the front seat and no one was in the driver’s seat. This fact could not yet be determined.

The owner, a 59-year-old man was driving his 69-year-old passenger on a two-lane concrete road. They left the cul-de-sac of a residential area in Spring, Texas. The road had concrete curbs on either side and no lane markings with a posted speed limit of 30 mph.

After driving about 550 feet, the car drove off the road at the curve and over the curb. It hit a drainage culvert, a raised manhole and crashed into a tree. At that point the car caught on fire. Toth the driver and passenger died due to the collision and fire.

The collision damaged the car’s lithium-icon battery case. Furthermore, the fire destroyed the infotainment system’s onboard storage device. Despite this damage, the restraint control module survived the accident, and it stored the following data:

  • Whether seatbelts were in use
  • Vehicle speed
  • Acceleration information
  • Whether airbags deployed

The NTSB has the module information and their laboratory staff is evaluating it. The agency will draw final conclusions as to whether the driver was in the front or back seat at the time of impact. It will also review postmortem toxicology reports.

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