One of the men who died in the fiery Houston Tesla wreck that we have been reporting on over the last few days has been identified as 59-year-old Dr. William Varner.
His 69 year old friend has yet to be identified, according to ABC 13.
Varner was a doctor at the local Memorial Hermann Health System. The health system released a statement on his death overnight heading into Wednesday, stating:
"Dr. Varner was a tremendous human being who personally impacted many throughout our Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center family over the years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, and also to those who had the privilege of working and serving alongside him in various capacities. He will be dearly missed by so many."
Recall, Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, told Reuters that the police will serve search warrants on Tesla Inc on Tuesday to secure data from the wreck.
He was responding to a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said, "Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled."
Herman appeared quite skeptical: "If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn't told us that" Herman told Reuters. "We will eagerly wait for that data."
“We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself,” Herman said according to the Reuters report.
Recall, the Tesla slammed into a tree near Hammock Dunes Place in the Houston Area, a local NBC affiliate reported. The wreck was in the "Carlton Woods subdivision near the Woodlands," the report says. According to authorities, "the vehicle failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn, ran off the road and hit the tree."
Of the two occupants, one was seated in the passenger seat of the front of the car while the other was seated in the passenger seat of the back of the car. NBC says it is "trying to determine whether the vehicle may have been in automatic driving mode due to the victims’ seating, but that information is not available yet."
A reported 23,000 gallons of water needed to be used to extinguish the flames because the Tesla's battery "kept reigniting". Two federal agencies will investigate the deadly crash of a Tesla Model S over the weekend near Houston, Texas, in which local authorities said no one was behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are aware of the fatal Tesla crash that killed two, which occurred on Saturday night in Spring, Texas. Both agencies are sending investigators to conduct a safety analysis.
"NHTSA is aware of the tragic crash involving a Tesla vehicle outside of Houston, Texas. NHTSA has immediately launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash. We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate steps when we have more information," the NHTSA told local news KHOU11 in a statement.
And the NTSB tweeted Monday afternoon that their investigation team, "in coordination with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office," will "conduct a safety investigation of the fatal Apr. 17, 2021, Tesla vehicle crash near Spring, TX."
NTSB also said their "investigation would focus on the vehicle's operation and the post-crash fire. NTSB investigators will arrive in the area later this afternoon."