A man in Northern California is accused of driving his car off a cliff with his family in the vehicle. Everyone survived, though serious injuries have been reported.
Dharmesh A. Patel has been arrested on suspicion of child abuse and attempted murder. He’ll be booked into San Mateo County Jail once he’s released from the hospital. In the vehicle with Patel was his wife Neha, plus their 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.
According to the California Highway Patrol, evidence gathered at the scene proves that Patel’s act was intentional. This stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway is known as Devil’s Slide to the local community. There is no guardrail in the area of the crash.
Patel is a doctor at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.
It’s also been reported that vehicular crashes here rarely end with survivors. The Tesla sedan fell more than 250 feet, barreling over the side and apparently flipping several times before being wedged in between large rocks.
Brian Pottenger of the Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire, said, “We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never live. This was an absolute miracle.”
I’m not sure if the passengers would use the word ‘miracle’, but I understand Pottenger’s point.
In fact, first responders were prepping to recover bodies when they noticed movement within the vehicle. The recovery operation quickly turned into a rescue mission, where all four passengers were pulled to safety, undoubtedly saving their lives.
The Patel’s next door neighbor, Heather H., said she did notice something seemed off Tuesday and wondered why they hadn’t come home yet.
“They’re lovely people,” she said. “This is really heartbreaking.”
The investigation is ongoing.
To finish this report from ABC7, [click here].
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