Dr. Dharmesh Patel (41) attempted to kill his family by driving their Tesla off a 300 foot cliff

Dharmesh Patel is a 41 y/o California man, who was working as a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Pasadena.  He lived in a house on Lomay Close with his wife Neha, and their two children – a 7 /yo girl and a 4 y/o.

Dharmesh graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan and has been practicing medicine for more than a decade.

I believe they bought their house late in 2015 for $1.09m.

Since 2017, police were called to the Patel home nine times.  These calls were in response to reports of suspicious people in their area and alerts of burglary. The alarming calls from the family were reported as either false alerts or canceled by the officials where two incidents of reporting suspicious persons were called as “gone on arrival.”

Neigbbors in the area said the couple seemed friendly.  Dharmesh would give cookies to people on the street and Neha created a group chat for all the neighbors to keep in touch. This past Christmas, Dharmesh gifted his neighbors with a poinsettia plant.  The family also sent out Christmas cards with personalised photos. 

The card wished their neighbors a merry Christmas and happy new year, from “The Patels,” written in script at the bottom. 

Inside the Patel home, a Christmas tree still stands decorated with ornaments. An easel for the children is mounted in the corner of one room, still blank. Outside the home, a stroller sits under the eaves. They had a doormat with a tree on it that read, “Love fall most of all.”

Neha did have facebook that has since been taken down.  This info about what was on her social media is from Oregon Live:

One photo shows their son’s first birthday “fiesta.” In another post, Neha complained of her husband’s reaction to a proposal on the reality television show “The Bachelorette.”

“So Dharmy,” a friend responded, using a nickname for Patel.

“I love Dharmy,” said another.

In late December, the Patel family traveled to Northern California.  I am not entirely sure why, I have just seen it said they went ‘ for the holidays’.  One report from the Independent said they were visiting parents.

On January 2, 2023, the California Highway Patrol were called to a notorious stretch of roadway, known as the Devil’s Slide.

This is the release they issued:

On Monday, January 2, 2023, at approximately 10:50 AM, officers assigned to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) – San Francisco Area office were dispatched to a call of a vehicle over the cliff side on SR-1, just south of the Tom Lantos tunnels.

CHP officers and additional emergency personnel arrived at the scene, and observed the vehicle, a white Tesla, approximately 250-300 feet down the cliff. Emergency personnel repelled down to the vehicle and located four occupants, two adults and two juveniles, within the vehicle.  The occupants were rescued from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

CHP investigators worked throughout the night interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene.  Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act.  The driver of the Tesla, Dharmesh A. Patel, of Pasadena, California, has been placed under arrest for attempted murder and child abuse.  There has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident. Mr. Patel is being treated for his injuries and will be booked into San Mateo County Jail upon his release from the hospital.  This remains an ongoing investigation and no further information is being released at this time.  Any witnesses are asked to contact the CHP – San Francisco Area at (415) 557-1094.

The Tesla flipped several times before landing on its wheels and became wedged against the cliff a few metres from the raging ocean currents, according to Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire.

One report said a witness saw the Tesla veer off the road suddenly, continuing through the dirt and off the cliff.

Using an H-30 Helicopter, rescue specialists rappelled to the crash site several hours later where they found the four family members conscious and alert in the car.

The two children were suffering from musculoskeletal injuries, and were pulled out of the back window and rapelled back to the chopper with a winch.

Dharmesh and Neha had more serious traumatic injuries, and had to be hoisted up to the chopper.

The four family members were then transferred by Stanford Life Flight Helicopter where their condition was listed as critical.

“We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never live. This was an absolute miracle,” Mr Pottenger said in a video statement posted to Twitter.

Weather was not believed to be a factor in the crash, and there was no guardrail at the spot where the vehicle left the road, according to investigators.

At the time of recording, investigators have not released a possible motive for the crash.

Dharmesh’s workplace, Providence Holy Cross Medical Centre said: “We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.”

“They’re a beautiful, idyllic family, no indication of issues,” said Roger Newmark, who has lived on the block more than 40 years. “It’s so strange because he is a great guy. Maybe it was a moment of insanity.”

“Really I can’t believe it,” said Sarah Walker, another neighbor. “No one can believe it. They felt like newlyweds. The way they interact and look at each other, it just felt like they should be together.”

The Drive Tesla CA Twitter account stated that the two children were “unharmed” in the crash, adding: “If you want to keep your family safe, buy a Tesla.”

Elon Musk replied: “Good news”.

On Monday January 30, it was announced that Dharmesh had been released from hospital and taken to jail.   

He was charged with three counts of attempted murder. Two of those counts have domestic violence and great bodily harm enhancements.

According to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, evidence shows there were no signs of braking or skid marks before Dharmsh drove the car over the cliff. He also says there are cameras near Tom Lantos Tunnels that show the Tesla coming out of a tunnel and off the cliff.

We have also learned that Neha was conscious after the crash and she told paramedics that Dharmesh had caused the crash on purpose.  Her actual words were apparently “He intentionally tried to kill us.”

Dharmesh’s arraignment is currently scheduled for February 9.  





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