The man who drove his Tesla off a cliff in Northern California with his family inside was charged with three counts of attempted murder Monday after an investigation by the San Mateo County district attorney, according to court records.
Dharmesh Patel, 41, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment after the Jan. 2 crash, but prosecutors waited until after he was transferred out of the hospital last week to charge him. His wife and two children have also since been released from the hospital.
Patel drove his wife, Neha, and their 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son off the cliff at Devil's Slide, a notoriously dangerous portion of Highway 1 about 15 miles south of San Francisco. The car tumbled 250 to 300 feet, with authorities describing the family's rescue as an "absolute miracle."
But the miracle quickly turned dark after police arrested Patel while he was still hospitalized, saying investigators had probable cause to believe the crash was intentional.
The arrest shocked the Patels' neighbors on their tree-lined cul-de-sac in Pasadena, where they were perceived as an "idyllic" family.
Patel was a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.
"They're a beautiful, idyllic family, no indication of issues," said Roger Newmark, who has lived on the block more than 40 years. "It's so strange because he is a great guy."
Patel is set to be arraigned in San Mateo Superior Court on Monday at 1:30 p.m.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.