Dr Dharmesh Patel Of CA Arrested For Murder, Drives Car Off Cliff With Family Inside
India-West News Desk
PASADENA, CA – Indian American Dharmesh Arvind Patel, 41, of Pasadena has been charged with attempted murder and child abuse after he intentionally drove his Tesla sedan, with his wife Neha, and two children inside, off a 250-foot California cliff.
Patel worked as a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Pasadena. It released a statement saying it was, “deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family. We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation.”
Patel has been arrested and will be booked into San Mateo County jail after his release from the hospital, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said on January 4.
The car was traveling south on State Route 1 when Patel drove it over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels, and landed near the water’s edge.
It flipped and landed on its wheels.
“Based on the evidence collected, investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” CHP said.
The CHP said in a statement that it was alerted to “a vehicle over the side of the cliff on State Route-1” at around 10.50 a.m. on January 2. Once the CHP and other responding agencies got to the scene, they saw a white Tesla that had plunged 250-300 feet off the cliff.
Authorities managed to reach the vehicle and recover two adults and two children, who were rushed “to a local hospital with serious injuries.” The rescue involved firefighters who rappelled down the cliff to save the two children, a 4-year-old girl, and a 9-year-old boy. A helicopter crew rescued the two adults from the vehicle.
Brian Pottenger, the incident commander for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told NBC News that it was very, very rare” for people to survive such a steep fall and that the children’s car seats may have saved their lives. “We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle. So that actually was a hopeful moment for us,” Pottenger said.