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Pasadena man, Tesla driver accused driving family off cliff booked into jail


The man accused of attempting to kill three people by driving a Tesla off a cliff on Highway 1 is now behind bars, according to San Mateo County inmate records.

Dharmesh Patel, 41, a doctor from Pasadena, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse while he was treated at Stanford Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

Investigators believe that Patel purposefully drove his vehicle over the cliff near Devil’s Slide while his wife and two young children were inside on Jan 2.

The rescue of the family required a heavy emergency response. A helicopter repelled crews down the side of the cliff to access the Tesla, which landed in between several large boulders. Emergency personnel needed to cut the family from the vehicle including Patel’s wife who is 41, their 7-year-old daughter and 4-year old son.

The family members survived the collision, but they each suffered severe injuries. Patel was booked into San Mateo County Jail and was not offered bail.

Patel is scheduled to face arraignment on Monday for the crash. San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told The Los Angeles Times that investigators will be examining all possible causes of the crash, including the possibility of a mechanical problem.

“We’re having the car looked at from top to bottom,” Wagstaffe said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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