Radiologist Dharmesh Arvind Patel of Pasadena, was arrested after ‘intentionally’ driving his wife and their two kids off ‘Devil’s Slide’ cliff in their Tesla
California police say he intentionally drove the Tesla Y off a cliff edge known as ‘Devil’s Side’ on Highway 1, near Pacifica, on Monday Jan. 2
His wife Neha, 41, and two kids, aged four and seven, were inside the vehicle but survived
Patel family miraculously survived the 250ft drop after car landed on it’s tires
Dr Patel, 42, is charged with attempted murder and child abuse
Patel was booked into the San Mateo County Jail after his release from the hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries
The Pasadena doctor has been charged with the attempted murder of his wife and their two young children by deliberately driving the family Tesla off the side of a 250ft cliff on Monday.
Dharmesh A. Patel who works as a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Pasadena, is accused of intentionally driving his white Tesla Model Y off a cliff known as Devil’s Slide on Monday.
Miraculously, all four members of the family – Dharmesh Patel, his wife Neha, their son and daughter, aged four and seven – survived without any serious injuries.
The father-of-two was arrested after ‘intentionally’ launching his Tesla with his family inside off California’s ‘Devil’s Side’ cliff, police said.
Doctor Dharmesh Patel, 42, of Pasadena, was charged with attempted murder and child abuse after he, his wife, Neha, 41, and their two children were found 250 feet down a cliffside on Monday.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) has determined that ‘based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act.’
Initially, there were questions over whether the car – famous for its self-driving technology – had gone rogue and taken the family off the road by mistake.
More questions have been raised about the vehicle’s safety features, querying whether the multiple airbags adjacent to the two front seats in addition to those in the dash, actually saved their lives.
On Tuesday, police charged Patel with attempted homicide and child abuse, alleging that the incident was an attempted murder-suicide gone wrong.
He remains in the San Mateo County Jail today.
It’s unclear whether his wife and kids are still receiving treatment in the hospital, or if they have been discharged.
Neighbors told CBS News of their shock after learning the allegations against Patel.
The Tesla Model Y – which is the vehicle the family was in – has multiple airbags. There are front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, and curtain airbags, all of which appeared to inflate.
Police are yet to confirm whether this saved the family, however that has not stopped Tesla CEO Elon Musk who responded to a fan account about the family surviving the crash by saying ‘Good news,’ as the fan account said the Tesla vehicle saved the lives of the Patel family.
In response to a tweet about how the family survived, Musk said: ‘Good news.’
His fans say the fact that they all did survive is proof of just how safe Tesla vehicles are.
Roger Newmark, who lives several doors down from the family on a leafy Pasadena street, said: ‘They’re the sweetest couple and they have the greatest two little kids.’
The hospital where Patel works released a statement on Tuesday.
‘Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family.
‘We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.’
Police are yet to complete their investigation into the crash, and are yet to confirm why they think the family survived.
They think the vehicle suffered one initial hit, then flipped multiple times in the air before landing upright, on its wheels.
‘The damage to the vehicle would indicate that it hit, and then flipped several times,’ Brian Pottenger, battalion chief with Cal Fire’s Coastside Fire Protection District, said afterwards.