The victims of the deadly Tesla crash in Houston have been named.
According to authorities, the Texas men killed in a fiery accident involving a self-driving Tesla Model S were friends who took the vehicle for a spin after dropping off their wives.
Dr. Will Varner, 59, and Everett Talbot, 69, were killed when the driverless car collided with a tree and caught fire Saturday night in Houston’s The Woodlands area, according to news station KTRK.
Neither man was known to be operating a motor vehicle at the time of the collision.
Varner, an anesthesiologist suspected to be the car’s driver, was discovered in the back seat, according to the Daily Mail. Talbot, who owned a financial company, was discovered in the passenger seat.
“We are now living in a living hell. As his daughter, I requested that everybody wait for the conclusion of the investigation,” Talbot’s daughter told the outlet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have announced that they would send investigation teams to the scene of the fatal accident.
Constable Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct 4 told news station KHOU that officials are “very sure based on the location of the bodies following the impact that there was no one driving the car.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, denied on Twitter on Monday that the car was on autopilot.
“Data logs recovered so far indicate that Autopilot was disabled and this vehicle did not purchase FSD,” he said, referring to the $10,000 premium Full Service driving app.
“Moreover, regular Autopilot needs the presence of lane lines, which this street lacked,” he added.
The fatal crash occurred on Saturday, KTRK reported. The men had dropped off their wives at a Spring residence and then left in the car for a test drive.
Varner was honored in a statement by his boss, Memorial Hermann.
“Dr. Varner was an extraordinary human being who had a profound effect on many members of our Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center family over the years,” according to a statement received by KTRK.
“Our hearts go out to his entire family, as well as to those who had the privilege of working and serving alongside him in a variety of capacities. He will be greatly missed by a large number of people.”