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Driver in California cliff crash that injured 4 charged

Dharmesh A. Patel, 41, is now facing attempted murder charges after seriously injuring himself, his wife and their two kids

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — The driver of a car that plunged off a treacherous cliff in northern California, seriously injuring himself, his wife and their two young children, was charged Monday with attempted murder.

Dharmesh A. Patel, 41, also faces enhancements for great bodily injury and domestic violence in the Jan. 2 crash, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a statement.

Patel was scheduled to be arraigned Monday. His attorney, Jose Bentley, did not immediately respond to a Monday email seeking comment.

The Pasadena man was seriously injured and taken to a hospital after the car went over the 250-foot (76-meter) cliff at Devil's Slide, an area along the Pacific Coast Highway about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of San Francisco that is known for deadly wrecks. He was recently moved to a jail.

Rescuers initially hailed the family’s survival as a miracle. Firefighters had to cut open the Tesla Model Y to extract the family, including Patel’s 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

Patel was later arrested after California Highway Patrol investigators “developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the agency said.

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