Elon Musk Denies Tesla “Autopilot” Behind Fatal Crash

CNBC reports:

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a denial that his company’s automated driving systems were involved in a fatal crash in Spring, Texas. Two federal agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, are investigating the crash now.

Local police said in multiple press interviews that, apparently, nobody was behind the wheel of the 2019 Tesla Model S when it veered off the road, hit a tree and burst into flames, according to their preliminary investigations.

CNN Business reports:

The crash in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, killed a person in the front passenger seat and one in the rear seat of the car, according to Constable Mark Herman, the head of the Harris County police precinct that responded to the crash.

The names of the two crash victims, a 69-year old man, and a 59-year old man, were not immediately released by authorities. The car, a 2019 Tesla Model S, apparently went off the road after being unable to navigate a curve and hit some trees.

The crash Saturday resulted in a fire that took firefighters on the scene four hours to put out, using 32,000 gallons of water. Gasoline powered cars are generally at greater risk of fire in a crash than a pure electric vehicle, but the large battery that powers those cars can catch fire if damaged in a crash.