The victim of a Tesla accident in Texas had an alcohol level above the legal limit

The Tesla Cars logo is seen during the presentation of the new charging system at the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany, on September 10, 2020. REUTERS / Michele Tantussi

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 3 (Reuters) – One of two victims of a fatal crash that hit a Tesla car in Texas had a blood alcohol level that exceeded the legal driving limit, according to an autopsy report .

No one was found in the driver’s seat in the April crash, where a Model S caught fire after hitting a tree and killing both people in the car, according to police at the time.

According to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science report, William Varner, who was found in the left passenger seat, detected in the blood 0.151 g / 100 ml of ethanol (grain alcohol) in the blood.

The legal blood alcohol level for driving in Texas is 0.08%.

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

Police declined to comment on the report, saying the investigation is still ongoing.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened 33 investigations into Tesla crashes that have resulted in 11 deaths since 2016 in which it is suspected that advanced driver assistance systems are used, including the Texas crash.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is also investigating the Texas crash, said tests showed the vehicle’s automated steering system “was not available” on the road where the crash occurred. accident, but the car’s cruise control feature could still have been in operation. Read more

Tesla markets its advanced driver assistance system as a “full autonomous driving” capability, but says these features do not make the vehicle autonomous and require active driver supervision.

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