The man who is accused of driving a Tesla car and plunging it 250 feet (76 metres) off a cliff in northern California with his family inside has been jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, officials said on Friday.

Dharmesh A Patel, was released from the hospital and taken into custody without bail.

Officials said his bail could be arraigned on Monday afternoon if the San Mateo district attorney’s office decides to file criminal charges.

It is not immediately clear when Mr Patel was released from the hospital.

The 41-year-old father was arrested after California Highway Patrol investigators “developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the agency said.

The Pasadena local was seriously injured when the Tesla sedan slipped off the cliff at Devils Slide along the Pacific Coast highway on 2 January.

Rescuers initially hailed the family’s survival as a miracle after the sedan plummeted in an area about 15 miles (24km) south of San Francisco. The area is known for fatal accidents.

The family – including Mr Patel’s 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son – had to be pulled out of the mangled remains of the car by cutting the vehicle.

District attorney Steve Wagstaffe said investigators are also examining the Tesla Model Y to rule out the possibility of a mechanical problem in the car.

Talking to the Los Angeles Times this week, Mr Wagstaffe said: “Did the brakes fail? Were the brakes working? Were there any other mechanical malfunctions that would have led to him not being able to stop the vehicle?”

“We’re having the car looked at from top to bottom,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Mr Patel had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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2023-01-28T06:54:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd