Tesla driver suspected of attempted murder now behind bars

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The man accused of attempting to kill three people by driving a Tesla Model Y off a cliff is now booked into jail. 

According to the San Mateo County inmate records, Dharmesh Patel, 41, a doctor from Pasadena, was a suspect in attempted murder and child abuse. 

Investigators believe that on January 2, Patel purposefully drove his car off the cliff near Devil’s Side while his wife and two young children were inside the vehicle. 

To rescue the family, a helicopter brought emergency crews down to the cliff to access the Tesla. The family members survived the collision, but they all suffered severe injuries. 

Patel was booked into San Mateo County Jail and was not offered bail. 

Patel is scheduled to face arraignment on Monday for the crash if San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe decides to move forward with charges. Wagstaffe told The Los Angeles Times that investigators will be examining all potential causes of the crash, including the possibility of a mechanical problem.

“We’re having the car looked at from top to bottom,” Wagstaffe said.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.