Man who drove family off cliff charged with attempted murder

Officials said it was a miracle that family survived crash off California cliff

The wrecked Tesla after being plunged off a dangerous cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. San Mateo County Sheriff's Office / AP
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A California doctor accused of intentionally driving his Tesla off a dangerous cliff in California with his family on board has been charged with three counts of attempted murder on Monday.

Dharmesh Patel was arrested after the January 2 crash but Californian prosecutors had waited to charge him until he was transferred out of hospital, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr Patel has since been booked into San Mateo County jail.

He was in the car with his wife and two children when the Tesla plunged 76 metres off the side of Highway 1, about 24 kilometres south of San Francisco.

The incident occurred along a notoriously dangerous portion of the highway called Devil's Slide, a rocky coastal area in which people in cars often die.

Officials said it was miracle that Mr Patel and the three others survived the crash. Images showed the wrecked Tesla appeared to have flipped several times before landing on its wheel.

His wife and two children have been released from hospital, the LA Times reported.

Mr Patel is a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Centre in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles.

Updated: January 30, 2023, 10:43 PM