Responders rescued four people from a Tesla that drove off a cliff in California on Monday. On Tuesday, they announced charges against the driver for attempting to murder his family. Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Sheriff's Office/Facebook
Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said a 41-year-old Pasadena man has been arrested on charges of attempting to kill his family when he drove a Tesla off a cliff earlier this week.
Dharmesh Arvid Patel was arrested Monday night on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, California Highway Patrol said Tuesday.
Patel, his wife and their two children were rescued and transported to local hospitals Monday after the Tesla they were driving in plunged some 250 feet off a cliff along Pacific Coast Highway.
The reason for the crash was initially under investigation, but California Highway Patrol said in a statement Tuesday that based on evidence "investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act."
The white four-door car drove off the road at around 11 a.m. Monday, Fire Incident Commander Brian Pottenge of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit said in a recorded statement following the incident.
"The damage to the vehicle would indicate that it hit and then flipped several times" before landing on its wheels, he said.
The two minors suffered "moderate injuries," he said. The condition of Patel and his wife were unknown but authorities had said all were in stable condition following the crash.
"We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle," he said. "So that actually was a hopeful moment for us."
Patel is expected to be charged on three counts of attempted murder and two counts of child abuse.