Prosecutors check for mechanical issues in Tesla crash off cliff
Prosecutors investigating whether the driver of a Tesla intentionally rolled the car off the side of Highway 1 three weeks ago, nearly killing his family members, are now also investigating whether mechanical problems may have caused the incident, the San Mateo County district attorney said The times.
The driver of the white Tesla, Dharmesh Patel, was initially arrested by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment for allegedly deliberately driving his wife and two children off the freeway at Devil’s Slide in Northern California. But dist. atty Steve Wagstaffe said his office is also investigating whether the accident could have been caused by a problem with the car.
“Have the brakes failed? Did the brakes work? Were there other mechanical failures that would have prevented him from stopping the vehicle?” Wagstaffe said in an interview. “We’ll have the car looked at from top to bottom.”
The public prosecutor’s office is still in the early stages of the investigation, said Wagstaffe.
After reviewing the case, California Highway Patrol investigators “developed probable grounds to believe that this incident was a premeditated act” and arrested Patel, the CHP said in a statement at the time of the arrest.
Patel stays in the hospital.
The accident happened on January 2 while Patel was driving the car with his wife Neha and their two children, aged 4 and 7. The family survived the 250 to 300 foot fall, but the celebration of their rescue quickly dimmed when Patel was arrested at Stanford Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries sustained in the accident.
Patel has since been transferred to San Mateo Medical Center, Wagstaffe said.
The case alerted neighbors, who knew the Patels as a “quaint” family living down a quiet cul-de-sac in Pasadena.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-01-24/did-the-brakes-fail-prosecutors-checking-car-for-mechanical-problems-in-tesla-crash-off-highway-1 Prosecutors check for mechanical issues in Tesla crash off cliff