The California doctor who allegedly attempted to kill his family by driving his Tesla off Pacific Coast Highway is asking for a mental health diversion to avoid being sentenced to prison, reports say.
Pasadena resident Dharmesh Patel, 41, was charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder in May. Patel pled not guilty to the charges in February.
Patel was the driver of a Tesla that plunged off Devil’s Slide near California Highway 1 on January 3. Patel, his wife, his 4-year-old son and his 7-year-old daughter all survived the crash.
The suspect’s lawyers have asked for a mental health diversion because of Patel’s major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis, according to KRON 4.
Patel’s wife maintains that her husband told his family he was going to drive off the cliff before the incident. The suspect claimed his Tesla Model Y was having tire issues when he drove off the 250-foot cliff.
“He drove off. He’s depressed,” Neha Patel said in an affidavit obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s a doctor. He said he was going to drive off the cliff. He purposely drove off.”
Patel’s eligibility for the mental health diversion will be decided at the end of July.
Fox News Digital’s Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.