California doctor 'declared plan to die before driving off cliff'

The wife of a radiologist accused of trying to kill his family by driving his off a cliff told cops that he declared his intention to die moments before the crash, newly unsealed court documents reveal. 

‘He drove off.He’s depressed,’ Neha Patel told a California Highway Patrol officer as she was flown away from the crash site, according to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed on Tuesday.

‘He said he was going to drive off the cliff. He purposely drove off,’ the wife added, saying her husband Dharmesh intentionally drove off a coastal cliff in San Mateo County on January 2 in a bid to kill her and their two children, ages four and seven. 

All four people in the car survived something that one official called an ‘absolute miracle.’ 

Dharmesh Patel, 41, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, and remains in custody without bail.

 Dr.Dharmesh A. Patel declared his intention to die moments before he drove off a cliff in a car carrying his wife and young children, wife Neha Patel told cops in the aftermath

All four people in the car survived in what one official called an ‘absolute miracle.’ Dharmesh Patel, 41, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 12, at which time a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to move ahead with a trial. 

Patel’s defense attorney Josh Bentley has previously said that , despite her comments at the scene saying the crash was not an accident. 

A Pasadena radiologist, Patel claimed he pulled off the road to check on a possibly flat tire, according to the warrant.Witness testimony does not appear to back up his account.

Patel was driving his white 2021 Tesla Model Y along the Pacific Coast Highway south of San Francisco when the car plunged several hundred feet off the cliff at Devil´s Slide.Firefighters had to cut the family out of the wreckage.

The warrant affidavit includes an interview with Patel while he was recovering from major lower body injuries. 

In the interview, he said his wife was irritated shortly before the plunge off the cliff because she didn’t want to stop at his brother’s house in San Mateo County before making their drive home to the Los Angeles area.

He said he was not really depressed but that he felt down because times were bad in the world, according to the affidavit.

‘Asked if he felt suicidal, he said, `You know, not like a plan, not usually,´’ the affidavit said.

Patel is pictured in a mugshot after he was booked in the San Mateo County’s Maguire Correctional Facility, where he remains held without bail

Dharmesh Patel, left, is accused of intentionally trying to kill his wife and two young children when he drove off Devil’s Slide cliff on January 2

A judge in San Mateo Court ruled that Patel can only have limited contact with his family, especially his wife, as he remains in custody without bail. 

Prosecutors are expected to use traffic camera video from Lantos Tunnel as evidence that Patel, who works as a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Pasadena, intentionally steered his Tesla Model Y off the cliff.

‘There are cameras,’ San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.’So we have video showing the movement of the car.’

That video, he said, ‘clearly shows his car coming out of the tunnel, going up the hill, making a right turn off the road into a dirt area at the top. And then a sharp right turn down and over the edge and down the cliff.’ 

State attorneys will also likely bring up witness statements, as two people who were allegedly driving behind Patel on January 2 ‘who watched what occurred and were able to provide information about lack of brake lights,’ Wagstaffe told

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