The wife of the California radiologist accused of intentionally driving her Tesla off a 330-foot cliff with his wife and two young children inside earlier this year has told authorities she threw them off a cliff «on purpose,» they say. newly released documents.
Dharmesh Patel, 41, was charged with three counts of attempted murder after he allegedly ran off Pacific Coast Highway and fell off a cliff at Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County on January 2. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.
Miraculously, no one was injured in the accident. The two young children were seven and four years old at the time of the incident.
Case documents unsealed Wednesday show his wife told authorities multiple times that her husband deliberately jumped off a cliff.
She told a paramedic helping get the family out of the crushed vehicle that Patel “had driven off the road on purpose. She repeated this several times,” the presentation reads.
Court documents said Patel was by his side and coherent, but «didn’t say anything unless spoken to.»
A second paramedic at the crash site said Patel’s wife was very concerned for the safety of their children. She told this paramedic that “defendant drove the vehicle off the cliff on purpose and he was trying to kill all of them. She said this about three times.»
He also told a California Highway Patrol officer: “He’s gone. He is depressed. He’s a doctor. He said that he was going to throw himself off the cliff. He left on purpose.»
The CHP also interviewed witnesses who observed the Tesla before it fell off the cliff.
Two witnesses reported that the Tesla «accelerated» as it traveled toward the cliff and neither witness said the driver tried to brake before plummeting off the cliff.
A nearby security camera also captured the moment the Tesla plunged off the cliff. It showed the Tesla traveling within the lines on the road, slowing down, and then turning right toward the cliff.
“The Tesla then gradually turns to the right, plunging down the cliff. There are no indications of attempts to brake or turn the Tesla in a different direction,” the filing reads.
The unsealed documents also shed light on what Patel said about the accident.
When interviewed at the hospital after the accident, he «stated that he had stopped to check his tire pressure, which Tesla indicated was low that morning,» the documents say.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Thursday that «we do not believe that Mr. Patel’s statement is consistent with the facts.»
The open files also showed that when investigators asked Patel if he was depressed, Patel replied «not really.» But he said he was feeling down because of «the war, the drugs and the crazy stuff.»
The filing says officers spoke with Patel’s family. Her sister said that she spoke to Patel the night before and recalled that she was «sad about the war and other things that were happening in the news.» She said he was worried about «the future of his children because of everything that is happening in the world.»
Authorities responding to the Tesla crash were shocked to discover that there were survivors in the severely damaged vehicle.
Cal Fire officials said it was incredibly «rare» for someone to survive such a steep fall. One expert described the family’s survival as «sort of a miracle, considering the severity of the impact.»
The white Tesla Model Y vehicle Patel was driving was visibly crushed on all sides after it was ejected from Devil’s Slide, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, on the morning of January 2.
In the fall, the car flipped over and landed on its wheels. Firefighters had to scale to the scene, extricate the family, and requested helicopters to take them to safety.
The unsealed files said Patel’s wife was hospitalized in critical condition and was in the hospital for more than a month before being released to an outside treatment center.
His daughter suffered a broken hand and his son a wound to the back of the head, according to the documents. Once the children were released, they were placed in the care of the defendant’s sister.
Patel is due back in court on June 12 for a preliminary hearing. Two of the three counts of attempted murder include special charges of domestic violence and attempted to cause grievous bodily harm.
At the hearing, a judge will determine whether the prosecution’s evidence supports the attempted murder charges, Wagstaffe said.
In February, Patel’s lawyer, Joshua Bentley, told a judge that his client’s wife did not want her husband to stand trial. The San Francisco Chronicle informed.
Wagstaffe said Thursday that Patel’s wife spoke to police after the accident and that «the next time she will speak on the matter will be at the preliminary hearing.»
Emails and calls to Patel’s attorney went unanswered Thursday. No one responded to a cell phone number listed on Patel’s Thursday.