Family of 4 Miraculously Survives Cliffside Car Wreck After Father Intentionally Crashes


“Tesla Model Y Shishi 01 2022-09-04” by JamesYoung8167 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

On January 2, 2023 a California doctor, Dharmesh Arvind Patel, was accused of intentionally driving his wife, two young kids, and himself off Devil’s slide, a well known 250 to 300 foot coastal cliff south of San Francisco.

Tesla cars are known for their high performance and safety features. However, this does not mean that they are completely safe. In fact, there have been multiple accidents involving Tesla vehicles in the past few years; and with the implementation of Tesla’s self-driving feature, people are more and more skeptical of these new vehicles. 

Bystanders and locals were eager to place the blame for the collision on the car itself due to the anomalous nature of the event and the current criticism Tesla has been receiving for its self-driving function. However, when asked by CNN, the California Highway Patrol stated they don’t believe self-driving technology was in use at the time of the accident. In fact, it soon came to light that the driver of the car may have intentionally driven off the cliff.

While this murder attempt left all four members of the car trapped in the vehicle that had seemingly flipped many times, the family all survived and were conscious when the fire department reached them. The two children were rescued first and were lucky to not have sustained any life threatening injuries. From there, the Patel family of four was transferred to Stanford Medical Center where Patel was met with his arrest for child abuse and attempted murder. 

The structure of Tesla Model Y, an automobile that has been given top safety ratings since 2020, has been noted with the survival of the Patels. Mechanical Engineering professor at University of Michigan, Jingwen Hu, accredited the Tesla’s roof strength and seatbelt design for not collapsing during the many crashes it took throughout the fall. In addition, the low center of gravity the Tesla was designed with allowed it to land on its wheels, rather than nosedive as vehicles do when they have an internal combustion engine at the front of the car.Prior to the accident, neighbors of the Patel family referred to them as “a beautiful, idyllic family, no indication of issues,” said Roger Newmark in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. This made the accident that much more unnerving and sickening to the public and brought the question of domestic abuse to the table.