(CMR) A California man was arrested after he intentionally drove a Tesla off a 250-foot cliff in an attempt to kill his family. Dharmesh Arvind Patel (41) of Pasadena was arrested and will be booked on attempted murder and child abuse charges once he is out of the hospital, authorities said.
Patel, his wife, and their children, 4 and 7, survived and were rescued Monday at Devil's Slide in San Mateo County, the California Highway Patrol said.
According to NBC News, the rescue involved firefighters who rappelled down the cliff to rescue the two children and a helicopter crew who rescued the two adults from the vehicle.
“Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” Highway Patrol said.
Brian Pottenger, the incident commander for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said witnesses called 911 after the crash around 10:50 am. He noted that it was “very, very rare” for people to survive such a steep fall and that the children's car seats may have saved their lives.
“We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle. So that actually was a hopeful moment for us,” Pottenger said