Dad who allegedly drove Tesla off cliff dropped gift off to neighbor before tragic holiday

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Dad who allegedly drove Tesla off cliff dropped gift off to neighbor before tragic holiday

The doctor who allegedly drove his Tesla off a California cliff on purpose was filmed delivering a Christmas gift to a neighbor just days before he hurtled his car off the highway.

Dr. Dharmesh Patel, 41, remained hospitalized Wednesday as neighbors of the “idyllic” family struggle to make sense of what led to the harrowing incident.

“They’re a beautiful, idyllic family, no indication of issues,” longtime Lomay Place resident Roger Newmark told the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s so strange because he is a great guy. Maybe it was a moment of insanity,” he said, adding that Patel, his wife Neha, 41, and their kids — a 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy — moved into the neighborhood about five years ago.

The doctor, a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles, was also a doting dad, according to the newspaper, and was often seen playing with his children in the close-knit community.

Dr. Dharmesh Patel and his family
Dr. Dharmesh Patel, his wife, Neha, and their children — a 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy — miraculously survived after their Tesla careened off the notorious “Devil’s Slide.”
Facebook / Neha Patel

Ring video posted by the LA Times also shows Patel dropping off a poinsettia plant at his neighbor’s home on Christmas Eve — before he left for Northern California for the holidays.

“I’m Dharmesh,” he cheerfully tells a relative taking care of the house while the homeowners are away – telling her he lived next door, where the white Tesla is seen.

“Can I just leave it [the poinsettia] at the front door?” Patel says.

Newmark said the Patels also sent out Christmas cards earlier featuring images of the smiling family, whose home still has a decorated tree standing inside, the LA Times reported.

“Love fall most of all,” a mat at the front door reportedly reads.

Dr. Dharmesh Patel and his family
Patel, pictured with his wife and two kids, will be booked on attempted murder and child abuse charges once he is out of a hospital, the California Highway Patrol said.
Facebook / Neha Patel

Patel, 41, will be booked on charges of attempted murder and child abuse once he is released from Stanford Hospital, authorities said.

He is accused of intentionally and inexplicably driving his electric car 250 feet off the notorious section of the Pacific Coast Highway known as the “Devil’s Slide” about 10:50 a.m. Monday.

Dr. Dharmesh Patel, delivers poinsettias to a neighbor
The doctor is seen on Ring video delivering poinsettias to a neighbor on New Year’s Eve.
Ring

Another neighbor described Patel as “just so present.”

Sarah Walker told the paper: “Dharmesh and I would wave ‘Hi,’ but he would always come over and have a conversation. He was always happy and ready to talk.”

She added: “Really I can’t believe it. No one can believe it. They felt like newlyweds. The way they interact and look at each other, it just felt like they should be together.”

The Patels' home in Pasadena
The Patels’ home in a cul-de-sac on Lomay Place in Pasadena, California.
Giles Harrison for NY Post

His wife also revealed no outwardly signs of discord in social media, where she shared charming images of the children as they grew up over the years.

Law enforcement had never responded to any domestic disturbances at the Patel home, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena city manager told the LA Times.

Police responded to burglar alarms and reports of suspicious persons at the address nine times since 2017, according to the news outlet.

But all of the incidents were all listed as false alarms, unfounded or canceled, the LA Times said, citing police records.

Crashed Tesla after 250-foot plunge
Investigators have not yet determined what driving mode the Tesla was in — including whether it had its Autopilot function on.
@bayareafirefighter/Mega
Mangled remains on doctor's Tesla
Patel has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, the California Highway Patrol said.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Offic

A motive for the alleged crime has not been released, though the California Highway Patrol “developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act” and arrested the Patel, officials said.

In a statement, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center said it was “deeply saddened to learn of a traffic incident involving one of our physicians and his family.

“We are extremely grateful there were no serious injuries. We will not respond further, as this incident is under investigation,” it added.

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