A driver of Indian descent from California who injured his two young children and his wife has been released and jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, authorities said Friday.
Dharmesh A. Patel, 41, is scheduled to go to jail without bond and could be arraigned Monday afternoon if the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office decides to press criminal charges.
The office did not say when he would be released from the hospital.
It was not immediately clear whether Patel had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
On Jan. 2, a Pasadena man was seriously injured when a Tesla sedan drove over a cliff at the Devil’s Slide along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Rescuers initially hailed the family’s survival as a miracle after the sedan crashed in an area known for deadly wrecks about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
Firefighters were forced to free Patel’s 41-year-old wife, seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son from the wreckage.
Patel was later arrested after Cal Highway Patrol investigators had “probable reason to believe the incident was intentional,” the agency said.
However, District Attorney Steve Wagstaff said this week that investigators are also examining the Tesla Model Y to rule out mechanical problems.
“Did the brakes fail? Did the brakes work? Was there any other mechanical issue preventing him from stopping?” Wagstaff told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re inspecting the car from top to bottom.”
First published date: Jan 28, 2023 at 21:01 PM CST