The driver of the ill-fated Tesla Model Y that plunged off a cliff earlier this month has been booked into jail. The man was released from the hospital and jailed over suspicions of attempted murder and child abuse.
Earlier the month, the electric vehicle community was shocked after reports emerged that a Tesla had plunged 250 feet down Devil’s Slide in California. The aftermath of the crash was grisly, but rescuers quickly realized that all the vehicle’s occupants — a family of four — survived. Rescuers noted that the survival of the family was nothing short of a miracle, as others who had fallen off the cliff were not so lucky.
Two children, a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, survived with mild to moderate injuries. The Tesla’s driver, Dharmesh Patel, and his wife, Neha, were airlifted from the site with more severe injuries. But as rescuers and the internet celebrated the survival of the family, disturbing details emerged. As evidence was collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe that the incident was an intentional act.
As per an ABC7 report, Patel was booked into jail after he was released from the hospital. He is being held without bail, and his arraignment could come as early as Monday afternoon. This is, at least, if the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office decides to file criminal charges against the father of two.
But while the evidence seems to strongly point to the father of two’s direct actions as the cause of the incident, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has told the Los Angeles Times that investigators are examining the Tesla Model Y for potential issues just the same. This is being done to rule out the possibility that the all-electric crossover had a mechanical problem that ended up causing the incident.
“Did the brakes fail? Were the brakes working? Were there any other mechanical malfunctions that would have led to him not being able to stop the vehicle? We’re having the car looked at from top to bottom,” Wagstaffe noted.
The investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
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