Father, 41, arrested for ‘deliberately’ launching Tesla with family inside a California bluff
A father-of-two has been arrested after he “deliberately” started his Tesla with his family inside California’s Devil’s Side cliff, police said.
Dharmesh Arvind Patel, 41, of Pasadena, has been charged with attempted murder and child molestation after he, his wife and their two children, four and seven, were found 250 feet under a cliff on Monday.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has determined that “based on the evidence gathered, investigators have developed a probable reason to believe that this incident was a premeditated act.”
Patel is committed to the San Mateo County Jail after being released from the hospital where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Dharmesh Arvind Patel, 41, of Pasadena, has been charged with attempted murder and child molestation after he, his wife and their two children, four and seven, were found in their Tesla 250 feet down a cliff on Monday (pictured).
Patel is committed to the San Mateo County Jail after being released from the hospital
The California Highway Patrol believes the accident was “premeditious.”
His wife Neha, also 41, also sustained injuries and his children had moderate injuries.
CHP also said it was not certain what “driving mode” the Tesla was in when the crash occurred, but that it “does not appear to be a contributing factor to this incident.”
The agency didn’t elaborate on why it was believed Patel had driven off the cliff with his family on purpose.
Authorities said they first received a call about a Tesla that veered off California’s scenic Highway 1 near Pacifica around 10:50 a.m. Monday and tumbled down the cliff south of the Tom Lantos Tunnel.
Robin Johnson drove by at the time and remembered thinking, ‘Wow, he’s driving extremely fast to take that exit. You shouldn’t even go up like that.’
“And I can see in my rearview mirror this car just going over the edge and straight down,” she told NBC Bay Area.
Johnson said she then decided to call 911.
About 30 to 50 rescuers immediately responded to the scene and attempted to reach the electric vehicle, which was estimated to be about 250 feet below the highway.
CHP said it determined “on the basis of evidence” that there was a “probable cause” that the accident was premeditated, but did not elaborate on what evidence they brought to that conclusion
Rescue teams used ropes to rappel down the slope with Jaws of Life to breach the door, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
They did not expect to find anyone alive in the vehicle and were surprised to find all four people alive and conscious.
At that point, crews first worked from the car to the children, reports KTVU, and were able to use ropes to lift them onto the street. Back on land, they were placed on stretchers and checked for injuries.
But the authorities still had to rescue the parents – and needed air support to do so.
Patel and his wife had to be rescued by helicopter after the crash
Dramatic videos posted online by CalFire showed helicopters hovering over the water to pick up the adults and take them to a landing pad where first responders were waiting for them.
The helicopter pilots made sure to keep a safe distance from each other and the rocky cliff as they dug through the rubble to rescue the parents.
After being freed, the entire family was immediately transported to Stanford Medical Center.
“We’ve come here unfortunately for things like this,” Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief with the Coastside Fire Protection District, said in a statement. “And it was a miracle that they survived.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11597423/Father-41-arrested-intentionally-launching-Tesla-family-inside-California-cliff.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Father, 41, arrested for ‘deliberately’ launching Tesla with family inside a California bluff