California man intentionally drove Tesla off cliff

CAL FIRE San Mateo - Santa Cruz Unit
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A man who injured himself and three others, including two children, after driving his Tesla off a cliff in California on Monday is now facing multiple charges after authorities said the plunge was intentional.

California Highway Patrol in San Francisco on Facebook said Dharmesh A. Patel, of Pasadena, was arrested for attempted murder and child abuse Tuesday. After talking to witnesses and gathering evidence at the scene, investigators believe “this incident was an intentional act.”

Earlier on Tuesday, CHP Officer Mark Andrew said investigators did not believe the Tesla was operating in autopilot or full self-driving mode at the time.

California Highway Patrol officers responded to the incident Monday around 10:50 a.m. after 911 callers reported a car went over the ‘Devil’s Slide’ cliff south of the Tom Lantos tunnels on State Highway 1.

At the scene, first responders saw a white Tesla approximately 250-300 feet down the cliff. Multiple agencies responded to the scene to rescue the passengers after noticing movement from the car.

“We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never live. This was an absolute miracle,” Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire, said.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!