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Pasadena doctor charged for attempted murder after allegedly driving Tesla off cliff

Pasadena doctor arrested after allegedly driving Tesla off cliff
Pasadena doctor arrested after allegedly driving Tesla off cliff 02:28

Neighbors had nothing but good things to say about the Patel family, which is why many were stunned when they learned the family's patriarch was charged with attempted murder. 

"I have a loss of words right now," said neighbor Roger Newmark. "So I hope that they'll be ok."

On Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol arrested Pasadena resident Dharmesh Patel for attempted murder and child abuse after he allegedly drove off a Northern California cliff with his wife and two kids in the car. 

This image from video provided by San Mateo County Sheriff's Office shows a Tesla vehicle that plunged off a Northern California cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway oln Jan. 2, 2023, near an area known as Devil's Slide. San Mateo County Sheriff's Office via AP

Patel's Tesla turned into an unrecognizable, mangled piece of metal after falling at least 250 feet off the side of the coastal road known as Devil's Slide on Monday. Miraculously, he and his family survived the crash. 

Patel and his wife suffered non-life-threatening injuries while his children emerged from the crash unharmed. 

"This is shocking," said Newmark. "My heart goes out to the family. And I know everybody on this block will come out and support everybody in the Patel family to get through this and do the best we can to ask for anything — we'll give it."

Officers said they found probable cause to believe he intentionally drove his car off the side of the Northern California cliff. According to the CHP, investigators have not determined the driving mode the Tesla was in, but believe it was not a "contributing factor" in the crash.

Patel is currently being treated for his injuries and will be booked into the San Mateo County Jail once he's discharged from the hospital. 

According to a neighbor, Patel and his family moved to Pasadena about five years ago. 

"They moved in about five years ago and they are the sweetest couple and they have the greatest two little kids a daughter and son," said Newmark. 

Newmark and another neighbor spoke glowingly of the family including Patel, who is a doctor at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. 

"Providence Medical Center is deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family," the hospital said in a statement. "We are extremely grateful there were no critical injuries. We will not respond further as this incident is under investigation."

Neighbors said that the Patels drove to Northern California several times a year to visit family.  

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