Indian-American family survives plunging off cliff in Tesla
Tesla Car Accident: An Indian-American family survived a 250-foot cliff fall in their Tesla in California. An Indian-American family survived a 250-foot cliff fall in their Tesla in California. Their rescue has been described as miraculous as few have survived accidents in the notoriously dangerous area known as the Devil’s Slide, ABC News reports.
But while the crash was initially believed to be an accident, evidence later emerged suggesting Dharmesh Patel had deliberately driven his Tesla off a cliff while his wife and two children were inside the car.
Patel, 41, was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, the California Highway Patrol said, The New York Times reported.
Rescuing Patel and his family after the accident was a dangerous operation as firefighters lowered the rock. All four passengers in the car were conscious and awake when rescuers arrived.
Media reports indicated that the Tesla Model Y carrying the family crashed on Devil’s Slide, a steep and rocky terrain, on Monday morning. The car flipped several times before landing on its wheels. Witnesses called 911, the US emergency number, around 10:50 a.m. Monday.
Firefighters climbed down the cliff to rescue two children, aged four and seven. The children managed to escape without much harm. Patel and his wife had to be airlifted to hospital.
Brian Pottenger, incident commander for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said it is “extremely rare” for people to survive such a collapse. Child safety seats may have saved their lives, Pottenger said.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said the adult suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the two children were not injured in the crash.
Investigators worked overtime Monday to analyze the crash site and interview witnesses after it was determined the crash was intentional. Police refused to release evidence that led them to believe Patel crashed the Tesla on purpose.
UPDATE: Initial media reports were incorrect. The two adults suffered non life-threatening injuries, and the two children were UNHARMED…after their Model Y fell 250ft down a steep cliff.
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) January 3, 2023