The driver of the Tesla that fell off a cliff in California with 4 occupants has been arrested. Police say he allegedly acted intentionally
(CNN) — A 41-year-old California man was arrested Tuesday on multiple charges for allegedly attempting to jump off a cliff with three passengers in a Tesla, authorities said.
All four occupants survived Monday’s crash after the car plunged 250 to 300 feet onto a rocky beach area known as Devil’s Slide, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, according to the California Highway Patrol.
In addition to the driver, an adult woman, a 9-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl were in the car when the incident occurred Monday morning, according to Brian Pottenger, battalion chief with Cal Fire’s Coastside Fire Protection District. .
All were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, the highway patrol said Tuesday. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said earlier in a social media post that the children were “unharmed”.
“Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the state highway patrol said in a news release Tuesday announcing the driver’s arrest.
The driver, from Pasadena, California, was arrested for attempted murder and child endangerment, according to the arrest report. He will be formally booked into the San Mateo County Jail after his hospital treatment is complete, the highway patrol added.
The relationship between the driver and passengers remained unclear Tuesday.
The white four-door Tesla was traveling south on Highway 1 just south of the Tom Lantos Tunnel between Pacifica and Montara Monday morning when it veered off the road. He fell at least 76 meters down that path, and a dramatic rescue mission took place. carried out to ensure that the occupants were safely removed from the car.
“The damage to the vehicle would indicate that it struck and then flipped multiple times,” Pottenger explained. The car stopped on its wheels, he added.
On Tuesday, the highway patrol said that Tesla’s tech-savvy driving features were not involved in causing the accident.
“It has not been determined what drive mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident,” the highway patrol said.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.
The occupants were trapped in the car.
The California Highway Patrol was alerted to the crash around 10:50 a.m. local time Monday.
By the time emergency services arrived, all four occupants were conscious and the two children were secured in their car seats, which remained intact, according to Pottenger. All were trapped inside the wrecked car, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol released dramatic video of the helicopter lowering a rescuer on a cable to the crash site as waves pounded against the rocks below.
As the firefighters rappelled down the cliff to the car, other rescuers watched through binoculars.
“While we were doing that, we could see movement in the front seat through the windshield,” Pottenger said. “So we knew we had at least one person alive.”
The teams freed the two boys and used a rope to lift them off the cliff in baskets. Later, a California Highway Patrol helicopter took the two adults to safety.
CNN’s Brandon Griggs and Faith Karimi contributed to this report.