Police arrested a Californian man Tuesday after he was accused of driving his Tesla with his wife and two children inside off a steep cliff. He wanted to kill them.
Two children and two adults were rescued by police from the Tesla that fell more than 250ft from a cliff called “Devil’s Side” in northern California. This area is known for its fatal car accidents.
Despite suffering serious injuries, all of the occupants survived.
Initial investigations by the California Highway Patrol did not find any evidence that Tesla’s autopilot features were responsible or that road conditions caused the crash.
Law enforcement on Tuesday confirmed the accident was intentional and detained Dharmesh A. Patel, the driver.
California Highway Patrol released a statement stating, “CHP investigators spent the night interviewing witnesses in order to collect evidence at the scene”.
Police have not revealed the motive for the crime.
According to the Associated Press, Patel was a radiology physician at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center (Los Angeles). The hospital didn’t comment on the matter except to express its gratitude to Patel and his family for their safety.
According to the statement:
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center was shocked to learn about a traffic accident that injured one of our doctors. The incident is still under investigation and we will not respond.
Patel was criminally charged with attempted murder and child abuse.
Brian Pottenger from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told NBC News it was “very uncommon” for someone in California to survive a crash and fall like the one that occurred to Patel’s family.
We were shocked to see survivors in the vehicle. He stated that it was a great moment for them.