Tesla driver intentionally drove over cliff with family in car, investigators say

A 41-year-old man was charged with attempted murder and child abuse after investigators found he intentionally drove his Tesla over a cliff near Devil's Slide with his wife and two children inside.

Dharmesh Arvind Patel of Pasadena deliberately veered over the San Mateo County cliff along State Route 1 Monday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Investigators have not yet determined what driving mode Patel's Tesla was in, but that does not appear to have been a contributing factor in the crash.

Patel, his wife, and their 4-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were traveling along southbound State Route 1 shortly before 11 a.m. when the vehicle swerved off the roadway, south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels, plunging 300 feet down a cliff, officials said.

The Tesla came to a rest on the rocks near the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

The crash triggered a daring rescue, which included at least 30 first responders, to free the trapped family.

They all miraculously survived the crashed. 

The two children suffered minor to moderate injuries. Patel and his wife's injuries ranged from moderate to critical injuries.

Patel is still being treated for his injuries at a local hospital and once released will be taken to San Mateo County Jail.

Witnesses told KTVU they saw the Tesla make a sharp U-turn before leaving the roadway.

Coastside Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Brian Pottenger said, "We did have one witness state the vehicle did veer off the road to the right-hand side, went up into the dirt area, and then proceeded to go off the cliff," said Pottenger.