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DA casts on case of California doctor accused of murdering wife and kids by driving Tesla off cliff

Prosecutors have forged doubt on the case of a California physician accused of attempting to kill his spouse and two kids by driving his Tesla off a 250ft cliff – with investigators now probing if the automotive’s brakes failed. 

Dharmesh Patel, 41, was initially arrested on suspicion of trying to homicide his spouse Neha, 41, their four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter after veering off the freeway at Satan’s Slide in California on January 2.

However District Lawyer Steve Wagstaffe is now exploring the chance the household’s Tesla Mannequin Y might have skilled mechanical issues that led to the crash.

‘Did the brakes fail? Have been the brakes working? Have been there every other mechanical malfunctions that may have led to him not having the ability to cease the car?’ Wagstaffe informed the LA Occasions. ‘We’re having the automotive checked out from high to backside.’ 

Scroll down for video. 

Dharmesh A. Patel, 41, was initially arrested on suspicion of trying to homicide his spouse Neha, 41, and their four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter after allegedly making a U-turn at Satan’s Slide in California on January 2

Miraculously the family of four survived the plunge to the water's edge without sustaining life-threatening injuries. The mangled Tesla Model Y is pictured after the smash

Miraculously the household of 4 survived the plunge to the water’s edge with out sustaining life-threatening accidents. The mangled Tesla Mannequin Y is pictured after the smash

The rescue effort at dusk on Monday January 2 after emergency teams realized the family was alive

The rescue effort at nightfall on Monday January 2 after emergency groups realized the household was alive 

The DA’s workplace was nonetheless within the early phases of the investigation, he added. 

Miraculously the household of 4 survived the plunge to the water’s edge with out sustaining life-threatening accidents.

Nevertheless, the celebration of their rescue was short-lived when Patel was arrested at Stanford Hospital later that day.

Police mentioned Patel was to be charged with tried murder and youngster abuse, with authorities alleging a botched murder-suicide.

The radiologist has since been transferred to San Mateo Medical Heart, Wagstaffe mentioned. He has not but been formally booked as he’s nonetheless receiving therapy.

It’s unclear whether or not his spouse and kids are nonetheless receiving therapy within the hospital, or if they’ve been discharged. 

Initially there have been questions over whether or not the electrical car – well-known for its self-driving expertise – went rogue and took the household off the street by mistake.

However specialists have since mentioned that the automotive, which has airbags adjoining to the 2 entrance seats along with in entrance of them, might have truly saved their lives. 

Troopers have been dispatched round 10am Monday, January 2, to reviews {that a} car had veered off the cliff on Freeway 1, round 20 miles south of San Francisco.

The steep, rocky, winding coastal space is called Satan’s Slide.

Hearth Chief Brian Pottenger informed reporters: ‘We go there on a regular basis for automobiles over the cliff they usually by no means stay. This was an absolute miracle.’ 

The automotive was initially mentioned to have flipped a number of instances, nevertheless specialists have since raised doubts, arguing the heavy batteries situated within the ground of the Tesla would have stopped it from rolling.

There was no guardrail on the spot the place the sedan went off the cliff, officers mentioned.

Patel was seen driving at velocity northbound on Freeway 1 and it seems he should have carried out a pointy flip earlier than reaching the Tom Lantos Tunnel which is the place the Tesla veered off the street, first onto a mud space after which down the cliff.

Robin Johnson, who referred to as 911 after seeing the crash, recalled: ‘Wow, he is driving extraordinarily quick to take that exit. You are not even speculated to be going up that means.

‘And I can see in my rear-view mirror this automotive simply go over the sting and straight down.’

The car was traveling northbound on Highway 1 near San Francisco at around 10am on Monday, January 2

The automotive was touring northbound on Freeway 1 close to San Francisco at round 10am on Monday, January 2

Sheriff's deputies work to free the car after the family was airlifted to safety

Sheriff’s deputies work to free the automotive after the household was airlifted to security 

The huge drop from the highway to the scene of the crash. The family members were airlifted to safety

The large drop from the freeway to the scene of the crash. The relations have been airlifted to security 

Rescue teams had to abseil down the side of the cliff while others used helicopters to try to reach the family

Rescue groups needed to abseil down the facet of the cliff whereas others used helicopters to attempt to attain the household 

About 30 to 50 rescuers instantly responded to the scene the place it was initially presumed the occupants of the automotive should have been lifeless.

A helicopter and specialist groups have been required to rappel all the way down to the wreckage and it was not till hours later that surprised rescue groups found the 4 relations aware and alert within the automotive. 

The youngsters have been pulled out first, by a again window, and hauled up the cliff by hand in a rescue basket utilizing a pulley.

The physician and his spouse have been extra critically injured and needed to be hoisted out by helicopter and have been then flown on to hospital.   

Neighbors expressed their shock after studying the allegations towards Patel, describing their household as ‘idyllic’. 

Roger Newmark, who lives a number of doorways down from the household on a leafy Pasadena avenue, informed CBS: ‘They’re the sweetest couple they usually have the best two little youngsters.’ 

The hospital the place Patel works as a radiologist launched an announcement after the crash. 

‘Windfall Holy Cross Medical Heart is deeply saddened to study of a site visitors incident involving certainly one of our physicians and his household,’ it mentioned.

‘We’re extraordinarily grateful there have been no critical accidents. We won’t reply additional, as this incident is underneath investigation.’ 

In response to an internet profile, Patel graduated from the Wayne State College College of Drugs in Michigan and has been practising for greater than a decade. 

Neighbors expressed their shock after learning the allegations against Patel, describing their family as 'idyllic'.

The family of four

Witnesses mentioned they noticed the car driving at excessive velocity alongside the freeway earlier than it veered off target 

The Tesla Model Y - which is the vehicle the family was in - has multiple airbags. There are front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, and curtain airbags, all of which appeared to inflate. Police are yet to confirm whether this saved the family

The Tesla Mannequin Y – which is the car the household was in – has a number of airbags. There are entrance airbags, seat-mounted facet airbags, and curtain airbags, all of which appeared to inflate. Police are but to verify whether or not this saved the household 

Amongst these to touch upon the case was Tesla founder Elon Musk. 

In response to a tweet about how the household survived, Musk mentioned: ‘Excellent news.’ 

Consultants mentioned the very fact the household survived proves the Tesla automobiles’ security.

Mechanical engineering professor Jingwen Yu mentioned Patel ‘most likely underestimated how protected a car may very well be’.

Chatting with NBC earlier this month he described the household’s survival as a ‘miracle’, however famous the standard of the Tesla’s seatbelts and exhausting roof on high of the very fact the automotive’s batteries give it a low heart of gravity to cease it from flipping. 

Jose Granada, a professor of mechanical engineering at California State College Sacramento, mentioned the automotive couldn’t have flipped or it could have been crushed.

Earlier, Hearth Chief Pottenger had informed the media that he believed the automotive ‘flipped a number of instances.’

Slightly, Granada mentioned that the automotive made a straight drop, touchdown on pebbles and sand. 

He in contrast it to touchdown in a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese, although the autumn at high velocity would have been round 80 mph.

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