A new photo shows Dharmesh Patel, the California doctor accused of intentionally driving a Tesla off a cliff on Jan. 2 with his wife and two children in the vehicle, with a bloodshot eye after being transported to San Mateo County prison from the hospital.
Patel, 41, of Pasadena, is charged with three counts of attempted robbery attempted first degree murderas well as enhancements for great bodily harm and domestic violence, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaff said during a press conference Monday.
“The evidence supports that he intentionally drove that vehicle over that cliff,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaff said during a press conference Monday after Patel’s initial court hearing.
Patel will plead guilty on February 9 and is currently being held without bond.
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“We hope to be more forthcoming when, hopefully, the wife is … available for an interview and willing to speak with us at that time,” Wagstaffe added.
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California Highway Patrol (CHP) Trooper Mark Andrew said Jan. 3 that he does not believe the Tesla was on Autopilot at the time of the crash near Devil’s Slide south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels on State Highway 1.
The first emergency crews who arrived at the scene on January 2 noticed white tesla approximately 250 feet down the cliff and observed victims still moving inside the vehicle.
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Rescuers were able to extricate the two children — a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy with musculoskeletal injuries — from the vehicle using a “jaws of life” tool and pulled Patel and his wife out of the vehicle’s windows.
“We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never come alive. It was an absolute miracle,” Brian Pottenger, the area’s Coastal Fire Protection Battalion Chief/Cal Fire, said after the crash.
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District Attorney Steve Wagstaff told the Los Angeles Times that authorities are “looking at the car from top to bottom” to determine if the car may have had mechanical problems at the time of the crash.
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Authorities in California believe Patel’s actions were “intentional.”
Authorities are asking additional witnesses to call CHP-San Francisco Area at 415-557-1094.
Elizabeth Pritchett of The Associated Press and Fox News contributed to this report.