A California man has been jailed on suspicion of attempted murder after his Tesla fell off a cliff in Devil’s Slide
Montara, California – The driver of a car that plunged 250 feet (76 meters) off a northern California cliff, injuring his two young children and wife, has been released from the hospital and jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, authorities said Friday.
The office said Dharmesh A. Patel, 41, was booked into the jail where he was being held without bail and could be filed Monday afternoon if the San Mateo District Attorney’s office decides to file criminal charges.
The office did not specify when he was discharged from the hospital.
It was not immediately clear if Patel had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
A Pasadena man was seriously injured when his Tesla drove over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, along Pacific Coast Highway on January 2.
Rescuers initially hailed the family’s miraculous survival after the car collapsed in an area about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of San Francisco known for its deadly wreckage.
Firefighters were forced to pull the family, including Patel’s 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, from the rubble.
The agency said Patel was later arrested after “California Highway Patrol investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was a deliberate act.”
However, Attorney General Steve Wagstaff said this week that investigators are also checking the Tesla Model Y to rule out the possibility of a mechanical problem.
“Did the brakes fail? Were the brakes working? Were there any other mechanical failures that would have resulted in him not being able to stop the car?” Wagstaff told the Los Angeles Times. “We looked at the car from top to bottom.”
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