Driver of Tesla That Went Off a CA Cliff Arrested, Charged with Attempted Murder
Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Published Jan. 4, 2023
On Jan. 3, the internet was shocked by the news that all four people in a Tesla had survived a 250-foot plunge off a cliff at Devil’s Slide in California. The two children came out of the incident with minor to moderate injuries, while the two adults’ were more serious.
On Jan. 4, an update from authorities provided a dark turn to the harrowing and practically miraculous incident, as it appears it was intentional.
ABC7 News reported Dharmesh A. Patel of Pasadena, CA, the father of the family, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse.
Authorities believe he intentionally drove the Tesla off the cliff with his wife, Neha, and their two children, aged 7 and 4, inside the vehicle.
Following his release from the hospital, Patel will be booked into a San Mateo County Jail.
“CHP investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene. Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the highway patrol said.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The reasons behind Patel’s actions remain unknown, though the incident has left those who know the family shocked.
The Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where Patel is listed as a doctor, released a statement.
“Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family,” the statement said. “We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.”
Neighbors of the family said the Patels seemed like a normal, happy family.
“They’re like ideal neighbors. It seemed like they had a great holiday. They went to go see both parents. It just seemed very happy and great,” said Sarah Walker, one of the Patels’ neighbors.
Another neighbor, Heather H., told ABC7 News something did seem off Jan. 3, and she was wondering why they did not come home.
“They’re lovely people. This is really heartbreaking,” she said.