- The 42-year-old is charged Wirth deliberately driving his family off a cliff earlier this year, sending the car plunging 250 feet onto a rocky beach.
Lawyers of the Indian American radiologist Dharmesh Patel who was accused of intentionally driving his Tesla off a 330-foot cliff in California say their client suffers from a mental disorder and needs treatment. “This diagnosis would allow him to enter a statewide diversion program and avoid jail time for the tremendous tumble his Tesla took off the Pacific Coast Highway on Jan. 2,” KRON 4 reported. The 42-year-old from Southern California was charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse in February to which he pleaded not guilty. He claimed his Tesla had tire issues.
Patel is accused of driving his family off a cliff on Jan. 2 near Devil’s Slide along Highway 1, sending the car plunging 250 feet onto a rocky beach. Patel suffered injuries to his leg and foot, and his wife suffered more severe injuries. While their 4-year-old child escaped with only bruises, their 7-year-old child was more seriously injured. Both children were released from the hospital within a month of the crash
His wife Neha confirmed that her husband intentionally plunged the car with her and their children. According to a report an NBC news report, Patel’s wife also told a California Highway Patrol officer: “He drove off. He’s depressed. He’s a doctor. He said he was going to drive off the cliff. He drove off on purpose.”
The court will be back in session on July 31 to set a date for a hearing to determine Patel’s eligibility for the diversion program. ”Defendants facing misdemeanor cases have a one-year duration for the treatment,” the Mercury News reported, adding that “the process can take months.”