Investigations are on to explore whether a Tesla car crash earlier this month, involving an Indian-American and his family, occurred due to mechanical issues in the car, the San Mateo County district attorney said.
Police had initially arrested Dharmesh A Patel on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse for allegedly intentionally driving the sedan, with his wife and two children inside, off a 250-foot California cliff.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said they are also investigating whether the crash could have been caused due to an issue with the car, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Did the brakes fail? Were the brakes working? Were there any other mechanical malfunctions that would have led to him (Patel) not being able to stop the vehicle? “We’re having the car looked at from top to bottom,” Wagstaffe told The Times, adding that prosecutors are still in the early stages of the investigation.
The crash occurred on January 2 when Patel was driving the car on State Route 1 with his wife and two children, when it went over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels, and landed near the water’s edge.
It flipped and landed on its wheels, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) had said.
“Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the CHP had said in a statement.
Patel has since been transferred to San Mateo Medical Center, Wagstaffe told The Times.
He is a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Pasadena and according to his neighbours, Patel is a “great guy”.