What are the charges against Dharmesh Patel? California doctor involved in intentional Tesla crash is held in custody

A 42-year-old California doctor was charged with three counts of attempted murder on Monday (Images via Twitter @/DotMcDonald @/henrykleeKTVU)
A 42-year-old California doctor was charged with three counts of attempted murder on Monday (Images via Twitter @/DotMcDonald @/henrykleeKTVU)

Dharmesh Patel, the California doctor who drove his Tesla off a cliff on January 2, was charged with three counts of attempted murder on Monday. The charges came after his wife Neha allegedly told paramedics that he had tried to kill her and her children.

The 42-year-old Pasadena physician was arraigned by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, following his release from the hospital. He was charged with attempted murder after intentionally driving his car off the Pacific Coast Highway, specifically the part of the highway that is infamously known as the "Devil’s Slide."

According to the police, his wife and two children, a seven-year-old girl and four-year-old boy, were also present in the car at the time of the accident and their survival was seemingly miraculous.

In comments made by District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe to media outlets, Dharmesh Patel's wife reportedly told paramedics during the rescue mission that he had tried to "kill" them.

Wagstaffe told The San Francisco Chronicle:

"She said very simply this was not an accident. We do believe the evidence establishes the necessary intent to kill."

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe further stated that witness statements obtained from other motorists and cameras from nearby tunnels had corroborated Neha Patel's account of the incident.


Dharmesh Patel is being held without bail because of the threat he poses to his family

On January 2, Dharmesh Patel drove his Tesla off a high cliff with his family still inside. Miraculously, the family of four survived the horrific 250-meter plunge, which could easily have been fatal. A few days later, Patel was arrested by the authorities on suspicion of attempted murder.

In a statement, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said that investigators have interviewed people and gathered evidence from the scene of the crash. Based on the evidence they collected, the investigators had enough probable cause to believe that the accident was in reality an intentional one.

After spending weeks in the hospital after the crash, Dharmesh Patel was booked into the San Mateo County Jail and is currently being held without bail. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe stated that the district's office only had 48 hours to lay charges after Patel was booked.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Independent, the attempted murder charges brought against Dharmesh Patel further include enhancements for domestic violence and causing great bodily injuries.

Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for the Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire, responded to the crash and said that the cliff, infamously known as the "Devil's Slide," has seen multiple cases like that of the Pasadena doctor's crash and that people never live after such a crash.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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