What we know about the doctor accused of attempting to murder his family

3 mins read

A man accused of attempting to kill his family by driving off a cliff has been charged with attempted murder by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. 

Here’s what we know about him. 

Dharmesh Patel, 41, is a medical doctor based in Pasadena. He and his wife have two children, a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. 

On January 2, the family was traveling on Highway 1 near Devil’s Slide in their Tesla Model Y when it went over the cliff and fell more than 250 feet down to the water’s edge. 

All four survived after emergency crews rescued them from the crash site. 

Patel was arrested as he was treated for his injuries at Stanford Hospital on suspicion of attempted murder. He is being held without bail. 

Patel is a radiologist

 According to the Oregon Medical Board, Patel is a radiologist with licenses to treat patients in Florida, Oregon, and California. He graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 and has an active medical license in California. 

He interned in San Francisco before going to Miami to complete his residency. He completed his fellowship at the University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

The family’s injuries

On the day of the report, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office’s initial reports stated that all victims were in critical condition. Patel’s wife is still being treated for her injuries, while his two children were released and are now with family. 

Patel also sustained severe injuries from the crash but was arrested while still being treated at Stanford Hospital. 

Updates on charges 

On Monday, attempted murder and child abuse charges were filed against Patel. He could face seven years in prison for the three counts of attempted murder. 

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe confirmed that a key reason the charges have been brought against Patel is his wife’s statements after the crash. Wagstaffe said that Patel’s wife told emergency response crews, “He intentionally tried to kill us.”

“She said very simply this was not an accident,” Wagstaffe said.

Investigators have not spoken to Patel’s wife, as she is still being treated for injuries from the crash. 


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.