San Mateo DA opens new line of investigation into Dharmesh Patel Tesla incident in California

Ritu Jha-

The San Mateo District Attorney’s office said it is opening a new line of investigation into the incident where a Tesla, driven by Indian American Dr Dharmesh Patel, had plunged 250 feet from a California highway.

The new probe will aim to find out whether there was the car had some mechanical issue that made it lose control and fall off the highway cliff.

The California Highway Patrol had arrested the still hospitalized Patel for allegedly intentionally driving the car off the cliff while his wife and two children were in the vehicle.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told indica, “The California Highway Patrol (CHP) did their job and have submitted the report. We are doing some additional investigation. We have requested Tesla to find out if there was any mechanical difficulty that could have caused the car go out of control.”

The incident occurred on January 2, when Dr. Patel, his wife Neha and their children – a seven-year old girl and a four-year-old boy – were driving back home to Pasadena, Southern California.

According to a CHP officer, Dr Patel intentionally drove the car off the cliff causing it to plunge 250 feet on Highway 1 near what is called Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County.

All four survived and were air-lifted to Stanford Hospital.

Dr. Patel was immediately arrested by CHP on charges of attempted murder and child abuse.

Wagstaffe said, “We want to know everything about the car so that the defense would not use that excuse. Mr Patel remains in the hospital. We don’t know when the hospital plans to release him,” he added.

He said, “The CHP did their investigation and arrived at the conclusion that resulted in Mr Patel’s arrest. But there are some unanswered questions.”

“While I cannot say what we will do once he is released, the evidence points to it being an intentional act,” he said.

He said his team is working hard in the background to find out what went down at the Patel residence prior to the incident. “We are talking to people he knew, and worked with. We are also inquiring about his mental health or whether he was having trouble with his wife. This is a big case.”

Dr Patel’s attorney did not respond to requests from indica.

Wagstaffe, meanwhile, said, “The kids are doing okay and are in the custody of Mr. Patel’s sister. His wife’s lawyer has said she in unable to be interviewed on account of her physical condition.”

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