an Mateo County Sheriff’s Office via AP
- Four Tesla passengers survived a 250-foot drop off the “Devil’s Slide” cliff on Monday.
- California Highway Patrol posted a video of the helicopter rescue on Facebook on Tuesday.
- The video shows first responders dropping from a helicopter amid rough surf.
California authorities rescued four Tesla passengers via helicopter from a 250-foot drop off a cliff known as Devil’s Slide on Monday.
The Tesla was carrying two adults and two children, Cal Fire’s San Mateo branch reported. An official at the scene said the children in the vehicle were 4 and 9, per KRON4 in San Francisco.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) posted a video of the rescue on Facebook on Tuesday. The video shows first responders dropping from a helicopter to rescue the passengers from the wreckage amid rough surf and placing the passengers in gurneys that were raised into the air one-by-one.
Brian Pottenger, the battalion chief of the Coastside Fire Protection District, told Fox News it was remarkable the passengers had survived the 250-foot fall.
“We come out here, unfortunately, all too often for things like this,” he said. “And this, this was nothing short of a miracle that they survived.”
Insider’s Marianne Guenot previously reported that the odds of all four passengers surviving the incident with minor injuries were slim, but the Tesla’s large EV battery and steel step frame helped increase their odds of survival.
When the first responders arrived at the scene, all four occupants were conscious, but trapped in the car, Pottenger told CNN. The two children were still secured in their car seats at the time of rescue, Pottenger said.
CHP said that the rescue crew first freed the children, using rope to lift them up the cliff and first responders later raised the two adults out of the cliff’s overhang.
Emergency personnel took the passengers to a local hospital with serious injuries, the highway patrol said. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that the children were “unharmed” at the time of rescue. NBC reported that the adults were taken to the hospital in critical condition upon recovery, but were later found to have sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
On Tuesday, the driver of the Tesla, Dharmesh Patel, was arrested over allegations of attempted murder and child abuse in connection to the car crash. CHP said “investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act” based on evidence collected, adding that it was determined that Tesla Autopilot, the carmaker’s driver assist feature, was not a “contributing factor” to the crash.
Insider was unable to find contact information Patel for comment ahead of publication, and it was not immediately clear whether he had retained an attorney. CHP has said the investigation is ongoing.