Wife of a California doctor who drove their vehicle off a cliff with his family inside asks for charges to be dropped

The wife of the California doctor who has been accused of deliberately driving a Tesla off a cliff with his family inside has pleaded with prosecutors to drop his attempted murder charges. The development unfolded during a courtroom testimony on Thursday, according to the New York Post.

Dharmesh Patel reportedly became emotional as he listened to his wife, Neha Patel, reflect on the car crash that took place in early 2023. Dharmesh also had to sit and listen to his wife tell the court that their young son has asked, “When’s Daddy coming home?”

“We need him in our lives and it has been over a year and a half since my children or I have seen or spoken to Dharmesh,” Neha said.

“We are not a family without him,” she continued.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Dharmesh faces three counts of attempted murder after he drove his family’s Tesla off a 250-foot cliff in an attempted murder-suicide. The horrific event took place on January 2, 2023, around a part of the Pacific Coast Highway commonly known as Devil’s Slide.

Reports mentioned that Dharmesh, Neha, and their then-seven-year-old daughter suffered serious injuries following the plunge. Their then-four-year-old son was also treated for minor injuries in the crash.

Dharmesh pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder and two enhancements. Additionally, he said his Tesla Model Y experienced tire issues when he drove off Devil’s Slide, according to reports.

However, witnesses who saw the event said Dharmesh did not show any signs of slowing down before launching the vehicle off the cliff. But this has not stopped Neha from pleading with the prosecution to free her husband, emphasizing that their children miss their father.

“When is Daddy coming home? He’s taking so long and I miss him,” Neha recalled her now-five-year-old son telling her.

The Post reported that a psychologist testified last week, saying Dharmesh suffered from a form of psychosis that resulted in him having delusions about his children being kidnapped and molested. The delusions were also reportedly sparked by the ongoing fentanyl crisis throughout the country, and also the conflict in Ukraine.

Neha said that her husband of 25 years had never had an episode before the crash. “Now that we understand and know he has a treatable condition, things will be different,” she said. “I want members of the court to know the health and safety of my family is of paramount importance.”

The Patel family hopes that Dharmesh — a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles — qualifies for a two-year mental health diversion program instead of facing trial.

If Dharmesh is found guilty of the charges, he could face life in prison.

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