Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Highway 1 Tesla Cliff Dive Deemed ‘Intentional Act’—Driver Arrested for Attempted Murder and Child Abuse


The following is a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Rescuers at the crashsite [Photograph from the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page]

On Monday, January 2, 2023, at approximately 10:50 AM, officers assigned to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) – San Francisco Area office were dispatched to a call of a vehicle over the cliff side on SR-1, just south of the Tom Lantos tunnels.

CHP officers and additional emergency personnel arrived at the scene, and observed the vehicle, a white Tesla, approximately 250-300 feet down the cliff. Emergency personnel repelled down to the vehicle and located four occupants, two adults and two juveniles, within the vehicle. The occupants were rescued from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

CHP investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene. Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act. The driver of the Tesla, Dharmesh A. Patel, of Pasadena, California, has been placed under arrest for attempted murder and child abuse. There has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident. Mr. Patel is being treated for his injuries and will be booked into San Mateo County Jail upon his release from the hospital. This remains an ongoing investigation and no further information is being released at this time. Any witnesses are asked to contact the CHP – San Francisco Area at (415) 557-1094.



  1. Never realized that Tesla’s were built so strong a 250 ft. drop off a rocky cliff and the passengers survived. This reminds me of a story from 2018, a lady driving off the cliff on the coast in Mendo county. All were killed in that vehicle. Incredible how people decide to kill themselves, but then take others with them…sad!

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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