Doctor Who Drove Tesla Off Cliff To Kill His Family Will Not Go To Trail Or Face Jail Time

Doctor Who Drove Tesla Off Cliff To Kill His Family Will Not Go To Trail Or Face Jail Time
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office

Dharmesh Patel, a California radiologist who drove his Tesla off a cliff with his family inside, will not face further jail time. In January 2023, Patel veered the vehicle off the road at a spot known as “Devil’s Slide,” carrying his wife and their two children, aged four and seven at the time. Miraculously, all four survived the crash. Patel’s wife told police that he drove off the cliff intentionally, attributing his actions to depression.


Patel was charged with three counts of attempted murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. He requested a mental health diversion, which was granted by San Mateo Superior Court Judge Susan Jakubowski, who deemed him eligible due to his mental health condition. Despite opposition from the district attorney, the court decided in favor of the diversion under California law.

Patel will remain in jail for several weeks before being released to his parents’ home in San Mateo County. He will be required to wear a GPS monitor, surrender his driving license and passport, and will only be allowed to leave the house for treatment or court hearings. His wife, Neha, expressed her desire for the family to be restored and believes that mental health treatment will help bring Patel back to his old self and reunite their family. A hearing regarding the mental health diversion is scheduled for July 1.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

This case highlights the intersection of mental health and the legal system, demonstrating the complexities involved when a defendant’s mental health condition is a significant factor in their actions. It also underscores the importance of addressing mental health issues proactively to prevent such tragic events.