You may have seen the news about the Tesla that plunged off a San Mateo highway, with four passengers. They all survived, but that may not have been the driver’s intention. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the circumstances and has arrested driver Dharmesh A. Patel.
Where did the Tesla accident occur?
The accident occurred when a Tesla missed a notorious turn on a San Mateo highway, flipping as it fell 250 feet into a ravine close to breaking surf. The area where it landed is a well-known hiking area called the “Devil’s Slide.” Reports said that inside the Tesla were Patel, another adult, and two children. All received critical injuries, according to the CHP. They received transportation to a local hospital.
“We come out here unfortunately all too often for things like this,” Brian Pottenger of the Cal Fire/Coastside Fire Protection District told NBC News. “Every one of us was shocked when we saw movement out of the front windshield. And this was nothing short of a miracle today that they survived.”
Do authorities know why the Tesla driver drove off the road?
Since this was first reported, the story has taken a dramatic turn. Patel, who is a doctor at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, is under arrest and charged with attempted murder and child abuse. Details of the charges have yet to be made public. The documents say that a 41-year-old woman, and two children ages seven and four, were the others inside the car.
There is no identification of the passengers beyond their ages at this time. Once Patel is released from the hospital and booked, more information will come out. There has also been no mention of what mode the Tesla was in at the time of the crash, but the CHP says it, does not appear to have contributed to the accident. “This remains an ongoing investigation, and no further information is being released at this time, the CHP said.
Earlier, the CHP said, “Investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene. Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act.”
How bad were the passenger’s injuries?
Once fire and rescue determined everyone had survived, rescue operators began trying to remove the victims. But the Tesla’s doors jammed shut from tumbling down the embankment. So authorities used the Jaws of Life to cut into the car to gain access.
The children, roped up out of the ravine in baskets, went to a nearby hospital. Firefighters say the children had mostly broken bones. The two adults had traumatic injuries and were removed by a helicopter and flown to a local hospital.
“I don’t even like driving it,” Pottenger said. “It’s definitely a treacherous stretch of California.”