California doctor charged for intentionally driving his Tesla off 250ft cliff with wife and children
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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA: A doctor is reportedly facing charges of attempted murder and child abuse for intentionally driving his Tesla car off 'Devil's Side' cliff in San Mateo County, California, and falling 250 to 300ft down along with his wife and two minor children. The incident reportedly happened on Monday, January 2, when Dharmesh Arvind Patel along with his wife, Neha, both 41, and two children —aged seven and four — took his vehicle towards the border of the cliff before going down.
Fortunately, nothing happened to the family members and they were rescued, the California Highway Patrol said. As per The Daily Mail, Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief with Coastside Fire Protection District reportedly said, “We came out here, unfortunately for things like this. And it was nothing short of a miracle that they survived.”
A person named Robin Johnson was also on the road when the incident took place. She reportedly said, “Wow, he's driving extremely fast to take that exit. You're not even supposed to be going up that way. And I can see in my rear-view mirror this car just go over the edge and straight down.”
Rescue Operation and Legal Procedure
Following the incident, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued a statement, explaining the rescue and further actions. It said, “On Monday, January 2, 2023, at approximately 10:50 AM, officers assigned to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) - San Francisco Area office were dispatched to a call of a vehicle over the cliff side on SR-1, just south of the Tom Lantos tunnels.”
The statement explained that the CHP staff worked with additional emergency personnel to first take the children to safety. They then saved the adults. Patel and his wife were reportedly taken out of the vehicle using a helicopter. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has posted a clip of the rescue operations on its official Twitter account.
This morning, a vehicle with 2 adults and 2 minors went over cliff at Devil's Slide in @sanmateoco. Witnesses saw the accident and called 911. The car plunged hundreds of feet down the cliff and landed on the beach. All four patients were successfully rescued. Watch the video! pic.twitter.com/HUM2SJ56Oy— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) January 3, 2023
“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 statement noted, before adding, “There has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident. This remains an ongoing investigation and no further information is being released at this time. Any witnesses are asked to contact the CHP - San Francisco Area at (415) 557-1094.” The CHP also stated that Patel has been charged but since he was being treated at Stanford Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, he will be taken to the San Mateo County Jail later.
Internet hails first responders
People have commended the officials who worked bravely to save the family. A user tweeted, “Believe in miracles and thank you for the first responders!” Another user wrote, “Thank you God for your mercy in this accident. Also thank you rescue teams for your bravery and commitment.”
Believe in miracles and thank you for the first responders!— Meena Westford (@h2oexecutive) January 3, 2023
Thank you God for your mercy in this accident🙏🏾 Also thank you rescue teams for your bravery and commitment🏆— RoseofSharon (@roseofsharon713) January 3, 2023
A third one said, “We drove by the scene today on our way home and it was so scary, thanks to all the amazing rescue teams and we hope all four accident victims recover.” A fourth one added, “You guys are so awesome. Thanks for being there in times of need. Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year.”
We drove by the scene today on our way home and it was so scary, thanks to all the amazing rescue teams and we hope all four accident victims recover— Jennifer Maytorena Taylor (@SpecificPx) January 3, 2023
You guys are so awesome. Thanks for being there in times of need. Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year.— Marty Roth (@muggievantweet) January 3, 2023
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.