‘No one was driving the car’: 2 men dead after fiery Tesla crash near The Woodlands, officials say

HOUSTON – A Memorial Hermann doctor has been identified as one of two men killed when the Tesla they were in crashed into a tree. The accident has made national headlines because local officials investigating the accident say no one was driving the vehicle.

The crash happened at 11:25 p.m. Saturday in the Carlton Woods subdivision near The Woodlands. The car burst into flames after hitting a tree near 18 Hammock Dunes Place.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told KPRC 2 that the investigation showed “no one was driving” the fully electric 2019 Tesla when the accident happened. There was a person in the passenger seat of the front of the car and in the rear passenger seat of the car.

One of those men has now been identified as Dr. William Varner, a member of the Memorial Hermann medical system.

The charred wreckage of a crash involving a self-driving Tesla vehicle is seen on April 17, 2021. (KPRC)

Constable Herman said authorities believe no one else was in the car and that it burst into flames immediately. He said he believes it wasn’t being driven by a human.

Harris County Constable Precinct 4 deputies said the vehicle was traveling at a high speed when it failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn, ran off the road and hit the tree.

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