NTSB: Driver was behind wheel at time of Texas Tesla crash

Tesla-Texas Crash

DETROIT (AP) — A driver was behind the wheel when a Tesla electric car crashed and burned last April near Houston, killing two men, neither of whom was found in the driver's seat.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board announced the findings in an investigative report update released Thursday on the April 17 crash on a residential road in Spring, Texas.

Although first responders found one man in the back seat and the other in the front passenger seat, the NTSB said both the driver and a passenger were in the front seats with belts buckled at the time of the crash.

The agency said the car was traveling up to 67 mph in the five seconds leading up to the crash, and the driver was accelerating. Data from the car's fire-damaged event data recorder revealed that at times, the accelerator pedal was pressed as high as 98.8%, the NTSB report said.

The investigation is continuing, and the agency made no determination as to whether Tesla's Autopilot partially automated driver-assist system was running at the time of the crash. The NTSB said it is still looking into Autopilot, whether the men could have had trouble getting out of the car, driver toxicology tests and other items. The agency will make those determinations in a final report.