Young Family Survives After Tesla Plunges 250 Feet Off Cliff, But Now All Eyes Are on Father

At first, authorities were amazed that anyone in a Tesla that took a 250-foot fall off of a California cliff on Monday survived — and mystified as to how the accident took place.

The California Highway Patrol now believes it has partially solved the mystery of the crash along the Pacific Coast Highway, according to the New York Post.

Dharmesh Patel, a doctor from Pasadena, will face attempted murder and child abuse charges after he is released from a hospital where he was taken due to the injuries he suffered in the crash, the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

“CHP investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene,” the statement said.

“Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the statement said.

Patel, his wife, Neha, and their two children — a 4-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl — were injured when the Tesla in which they were riding went off of a cliff.


According to CBS there “has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in,” but officials said that whether it was in self-driving or manual mode “does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident.”

The parents were described as having traumatic injuries from the crash.

The survival of anyone in the Tesla defied the odds, Battalion Chief Brian Pottenger with the Coastside Fire Protection District Cal/Fire told the Associated Press, according to KKTV.

“We go there all the time for cars over the cliff, and they never live,” Pottenger said. “This was an absolute miracle.”

Pottenger told NBC that both children were in car seats. He added, “The car seats actually did their job. Amazingly, they stayed in place. They were intact, and there was no damage to them.”

After hearing of the charges against Patel, Pottenger told The Washington Post he was “very disheartened. I was very sad. I was taken aback by it, and it was heartbreaking.”

“But I’m not going to let that take away from the fact that two adults and two children plunged 250 feet down the cliff and they survived, and we had a successful rescue,” he said.

Patel is a doctor at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California, according to KABC-TV.

“Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family. We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation,” the hospital said in a statement.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.