Doctor who drove Tesla off cliff in California charged with attempted murder
A doctor who police believe was intentionally driving his car Tesla off a cliff in California – injuring two children, his wife and himself – will face charges of attempted murder and child abuse upon discharge from a hospital where he is in stable condition on Wednesday.
Dharmesh Patel, 41, a radiologist from Pasadena, was arrested after being rescued from a wrecked vehicle at the rocky bottom of Devil’s Slide, a notoriously dangerous cliff above the southern Pacific Ocean. San Francisco.
Patel, his 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son all survived the nearly 300-foot (91-meter) plunge into the water.
Patel was transported to the hospital with serious injuries Monday, the California Highway Patrol said. Authorities plan to place him at the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City once he is released.
It is not clear whether Patel will hire an attorney.
Initial media reports after Monday’s crash said the Tesla may have been in full self-driving mode but CHP later said driving mode did not appear to have been a contributing factor to the crash. out the accident.
“Based on the evidence gathered, investigators have developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the CHP said in a statement.
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, the Los Angeles hospital where Patel works, said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the incident.
“We are extremely grateful that there were no serious injuries,” it said in a statement. “We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.”
Brian Pottenger, battalion commander of Unit San Mateo-Santa Cruz, said the rescue took about three hours to complete.
Mr Pottenger said children with minor injuries were the first to be rescued, followed by a helicopter carrying more seriously injured adults.
“Children are securely secured in a suitable car seat and the car seat is securely fixed to the vehicle,” says Pottenger. “In our opinion, the car seats saved those two children’s lives.”
Rescuers responded to a call just after 10 a.m. Monday about a car on the south side of the Tom Lantos Tunnel in the San Francisco area.
He said the Tesla driven by Patel was moving on the main part of the road before swerving off the cliff.
“There has always been an accident in an area where vehicles have been on the road for many years,” he said.