Driver of Tesla that plunged off cliff pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A Tesla driver accused of attempting to murder his family has pleaded not guilty, according to CBS News. He was charged with deliberately driving off a cliff with his wife and two young children in the car.

The incident occurred in Northern California on January 1st when Dharmesh Patel, 41, swerved off the road, sending the Tesla Model Y tumbling through 250 feet in a place known as Devil’s Slide. The car was totaled, but all the family survived.

Patel’s wife, 41, daughter, 7, and son, 4, were rescued after firefighters cut them out of the wreckage. The children sustained minor injuries, for which Patel faces additional great bodily injury charges at the San Mateo County District court.

Patel was arrested after California Highway Patrol investigators “developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act.” Authorities have yet to disclose a possible motive for the action.

Patel faces three counts of attempted murder and domestic violence. He could be jailed for life if convicted.

The defendant was ordered held without bail. Patel is also barred from contacting his wife and children at the hearing.

Patel worked as a doctor at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles before the incident.