Second victim of fiery Tesla crash near The Woodlands identified

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

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The second person killed in a fiery crash near The Woodlands over the weekend has been identified.

Investigators said Dr. William Varner and his friend, Everette Talbot, were killed when the Tesla they were traveling in slammed into a tree late Saturday in the Carlton Woods neighborhood.

Officials said the car burst into flames and it took hours to extinguish the blaze.

Investigators said one of the men was found in the front passenger’s seat and the other was found in the back seat. Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said investigators are convinced that no one was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that logs recovered from the car showed that the vehicle’s autopilot feature was not engaged.

Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the crash. That investigation could take up to two years.


About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.