Tesla Crash Victims In Texas Found to Have Alcohol Level Beyond Legal Limits

One of the two victims of the Tesla crash in Texas in April was found to have had blood-alcohol levels beyond the legal driving limits, says a report released by the officials after an autopsy.

Photo credit: Reuters

The fatal incident, which involved a Tesla Model S car, ended up with two dead people in the car, says the police report released at the time. Though they didn’t find anybody on the driver seat, the other two were discovered to have been drinking, WHTC.com reported.

One of the two casualties, William Varner, who was found in the back left passenger seat, had 0.151 g/100mL of ethanol or grain alcohol in his blood, which is way beyond the 0.08% legal limit in Texas at the time of his death, says the report by Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

The report also said that Varner had died from blunt force and smoke inhalation. 

“The cause of Varner’s death was “blunt force trauma and thermal injuries with smoke inhalation,” the report stated.

Aside from the information released by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, the police refuse to reveal more information regarding the incident, saying that investigations are still going on. 

The other one is yet to be named as of press time. 


During the incident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened 33 investigations into Tesla crashes. There have been at least 11 deaths since 2016, and the main culprit named was the advanced driver assistance systems, which remains to be suspected of being in use during the accidents, including the one that resulted in the fatal Texas crash.

According to the preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board during the Texas crash probe, the testing showed that the vehicle’s automated steering system was “not available” on the road where the accident occurred. They also noted that the car’s cruise-control function could still have been in operation.

Tesla has been marketing its advanced driver assistant system as “Full Self-Driving” capability, though they are claiming that those features do not make the vehicle autonomous and require active driver supervision.