Charges of attempted murder and child abuse have been brought against the driver of the Tesla that plunged 250 feet over a notorious California cliff. There were three people in the car at the time: two kids and a woman. According to a California Highway Patrol (CHP), arrest report shared with PEOPLE, Dharmesh Arvind Patel, 40, was detained on Monday at Stanford Hospital. The report stated that Pasadena, California native Patel has been charged with attempted murder. Additionally, a 7-year-old girl, a 4-year-old boy, and a 41-year-old woman were all hurt in the incident.
In a news release on Tuesday, the CHP stated that at approximately 10:50 a.m. local time on Monday, it received a report of “a vehicle over the side of the cliff on SR-1.”
According to the press release, when the CHP and other responding authorities arrived on the scene, they discovered a white Tesla that had plunged 250–300 feet over the cliff. Two adults and two children were found inside the car by the authorities, who then took them “to a local hospital with serious injuries.”
Furthermore, “investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” according to the CHP, after continuing their investigation into Tuesday morning, interacting with witnesses, and gathering evidence on the scene.
Additionally, the self-drive feature of the Tesla, according to the CHP, was not a contributing factor in the collision at this time. The statement read, “There has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident.”
Dharmesh Arvind Patel is still being treated at Stanford Hospital, but after he is released, he will be booked at the San Mateo County Jail. On the other hand, the investigation is still ongoing.
Moreover, all of the passengers’ survival is considered a “absolute miracle,” according to Californian authorities. According to Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire, in a video update posted on Monday, damage to the car indicates it “flipped several times” before landing on the sand.
Pottenger claimed that when they first arrived, officials had no idea how many individuals were inside, but they could see “movement in the front seat.” He continued, “We knew we had at least one person that was alive. We were actually very shocked.”
Additionally, authorities “come out here unfortunately all too often for things like this,” Pottenger said while speaking at the site. He remarked, “They never live. This was an absolute miracle.”
Lastly, the Devil’s Slide, which lies close to Pacifica along the well-known Highway 1 that almost completely encircles California’s Pacific coastline, has claimed a number of lives over the past 50 years.