California Radiologist Facing Attempted Murder Charges After Driving His Family Off a 250-Foot Cliff: CHP
Dharmesh A. Patel, a 42-year-old radiologist from Pasadena, California, faces charges of attempted murder and child abuse after investigators with the California Highway Patrol say they developed probable cause to believe the incident was intentional.
A California family is lucky to be alive after the car they were travelling in plunged off the side of a cliff.
Dharmesh A. Patel, a 42-year-old radiologist from Pasadena, is now facing charges of attempted murder and child abuse after investigators with the California Highway Patrol say they developed probable cause to believe the incident was an intentional act.
The Tesla carrying the family plunged 250-feet down Devil's Slide, flipping several times before landing upright on the rocky section of coastline in San Mateo County just south of San Fransisco, according to Cal Fire.
CHP, Cal Fire and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office all arrived on the scene Monday morning to perform what they assumed would be a body recovery, but as firefighters began repelling down the cliffside they noticed movement in the front seat.
Over the next several hours, rescue workers battled torrential rain and heavy winds to get all four occupants out of the vehicle and then safely airlift them up the side of the cliff. The mission required multiple helicopters and jet skis, which rescue workers were prepared to use if the wind made lifting the victims too much of a risk.
"CHP investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene," said CHP. "Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act. The driver of the Tesla, Dharmesh A. Patel, of Pasadena, California, has been placed under arrest for attempted murder and child abuse."
CHP did not identify the passengers, but Patel's employer did in a statement released in the wake of the crash.
“Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family,” read the hospital's statement. “We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.”
The news came as a complete shock to a neighbor of the family.
"They're literally, I would say, picture perfect everything. They are always the family outside in the cul-de-sac inviting people to come outside with them," Sarah Walker tells Inside Edition. "Their kids are on their bikes, they leave cookies on your doorstep for the holidays."
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office reports that the two adults suffered non-life threatening injuries and two children were unharmed.
Patel is currently recovering, but once out of the hospital will be booked in San Mateo County Jail, according to CHP.
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