An Indian-origin man who drove a Tesla and plunged it 250 feet off a treacherous cliff in northern California, injuring his two young children and his wife, has been released from the hospital and moved to a local jail, according to an Independent report.
The report said that Dharmesh A Patel, was released from the hospital and taken into custody without bail and could be arraigned Monday afternoon if the San Mateo District Attorney's Office decides to file criminal charges. The 41-year-old man is being held on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse.
The District office didn't indicate when he was released from the hospital.
All four occupants of the Tesla survived the crash on January 2 after the car plunged 250 to 300 feet into a rocky beach area known as Devil's Slide, about 20 miles south of San Francisco. According to Mr Patel's arrest report, the other occupants of the car were a 41-year-old female, a 7-year-old female and a 4-year-old male.
After the accident, California Highway Patrol received a call about a vehicle plunging over a cliff on Highway 1, south of the Tom Lantos tunnels, as per ABC News. Officers and additional emergency personnel arrived at the scene and saw a white Tesla about 250 to 300 feet down the cliff, according to CHP. Emergency personnel rappelled down to the vehicle and were able to swiftly bring the occupants of the car up the cliff by cutting the vehicle.
This afternoon, deputies responded to a solo vehicle over the side of Hwy 1 south of the Tom Lantos tunnel. Two adults suffered non-life threatening injuries and two children were unharmed. Tremendous collaborative effort btwn SMSO, @CHP_GoldenGate and @calfireSCUpic.twitter.com/sVyKp6LSrc— San Mateo County S.O (@SMCSheriff) January 3, 2023
The rescue was described as almost miraculous, The New York Times said. Brian Pottenger, the incident commander for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that it was "very, very rare" for people to survive such a steep fall and that the children's car seats may have saved their lives.
"We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle. So that actually was a hopeful moment for us," Mr Pottenger said.
Mr Patel was later arrested after California Highway Patrol investigators "developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act."
Meanwhile, according to a PTI report, District attorney Steve Wagstaffe said investigators are also examining the Tesla Model Y to rule out the possibility of a mechanical problem in the car.