A family of four survived a serious accident on Monday when their Tesla plunged off a cliff along California’s Pacific Coast Highway and landed on a rocky beach some 250 feet below. The incident took place at an area called Devil’s Slide, about 32 km south of San Francisco.
“We were very shocked” to discover that people in the car had survived the crash, said Brian Pottenger, battalion chief with Cal Fire’s Coastside Fire Protection District. “Accidents on that cliff are not rare. We do respond to a lot of vehicles on that cliff,” he told CNN. “What’s rare is that we do not get a lot of survivors – surviving this type of accident is very rare.”
Both children, a nine-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy, were secured in car seats which remained intact and in place. CNN also reports that California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident but they do not believe any of Tesla Model Y‘s self-driving features were active at the time.
Can’t believe this family survived through this horrific crash as @tesla plunged over a cliff. 🤯🤯🤯. Hope the family… https://t.co/BYNIDhz2mF
— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) 1672708388000
In another disturbing development, The Washington Post reported that investigators are saying that the driver at the time, a Dharmesh Arvind Patel, drove off the cliff intentionally. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse.
“The damage to the vehicle would indicate that it hit, and then flipped several times,” Pottenger said. The car came to rest on its wheels, he added.
Later one, Elon Musk shared a tweet from Drive Tesla which stated that the two adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the two children were unharmed. The family was airlifted to a hospital.