On January 2nd, 2023, a California family of four was involved in a horrific car crash when Dharmesh Patel, the father of two, attempted to drive his Tesla Model S off of a 250-foot cliff in an apparent suicide attempt.
Miraculously, all four of the passengers, including Patel, survived the crash, though his wife and one of the two children suffered serious injuries.
Patel’s wife, Neha was conscious when paramedics rescued her from the torn car and she reportedly screamed that her husband had “intentionally tried to kill us.”
Patel, 41, has since been charged with three counts of attempted murder and enhancements for great bodily injury and domestic violence. His just-released mugshot shows him with a scruffy beard and a left eye almost completely filled with blood.
The crash has left many wondering what could have led to such a devastating event. Officials have stated that the car showed no signs of mechanical failure and that it was not in self-drive mode. A video taken from a tunnel shows Patel making a sharp right turn over the cliff without attempting to brake.
The investigation is now looking into what could have caused the crash. Was Patel suffering from depression or something else? San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said, “We’re looking into what led up to this. Was there depression or anything else?” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
“It wasn’t just that he was trying to kill them, he was trying to kill himself too,” he said.
“Without getting into too much detail…there was no weaving back-and-forth, there appeared to be nothing mechanically wrong going on with the vehicle, there were no tail lights ignited, there were no braking … or skidding,” Wagstaffe said of what witnesses described.
Wagstaffe also said, “Everybody’s been talking about … how only a Tesla could drop 250 feet and everybody survives. Well, for the 4-year-old [boy] who was in a child seat, no injuries at all. Every parent ought to keep that in mind.”