(KRON) — Newly-unsealed court records reveal more about why a Pasadena doctor and father of two drove his family off a cliff at Devils Slide in January.
Dharmesh Patel, 41, his wife, and their children aged 4 and 7 were heading south on the Highway 1 when their car plunged over the side of a cliff and fell more than 200 feet to the water’s edge. Miraculously the entire family survived, though they each suffered injuries.
The Patel family had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency services, and authorities said Patel’s wife was screaming that he had driven them over the cliff on purpose, court records show.
Court documents say that while aboard a rescue helicopter, Patel’s wife told officers, “He drove off. He’s depressed. He’s a doctor. He said he was going to drive off the cliff. He purposely drove off.”
San Mateo County District Attorney Steven Wagstaffe tells KRON4 that multiple people heard her statements, “There were multiple emergency people there who heard the statements as well as the CHP officer.”
Court documents show that Patel told a different story. He says he moved the Tesla to the dirt path to check the tire air pressure.
Patel was arrested for the crash before he was even released from Stanford Medical Center, where he and the rest of his family were treated for their injuries. Patel was booked into San Mateo County Jail.
In February, the court filed Confidential Criminal Protective Orders against Patel, which bar him from having contact with a specific person. Because the protective order is confidential, it is unclear who Patel is ordered to stay away from.
Later that month, Patel’s attorneys filed a motion to reduce his bail amount, as he is currently being held without bail. That motion was denied along with a request for release.
Patel has been charged with three counts of attempted murder with enhancements for the injuries he caused to his wife and daughter. He has filed a not guilty plea with the court.
Patel will be back in court at 9 a.m. on June 12. KRON4 reached out to Patel’s attorney for comment but did not hear back.