Father Who Drove Family Off Cliff Granted Mental Health Diversion Program


A California judge has ruled that Dr. Dharmesh Patel, who intentionally drove his family off a 300-foot cliff at “Devil’s Slide” in January 2023, should enter a Mental Health Diversion program rather than facing a criminal trial. Patel, a radiologist, was charged with three counts of attempted murder after the incident, which left him, his wife, and two young children alive.

Defense attorneys claimed Patel was experiencing a mental health episode at the time of the incident, while prosecutors questioned his mental history, suggesting the crash was an intentional act of attempted murder-suicide. Patel’s wife and family members had been advocating for him to receive mental health treatment instead of standing trial.

The judge’s decision to send Patel to a Mental Health Diversion program comes as a relief to his family, who had been hoping for a treatment-focused outcome. However, the prosecution had argued that Patel’s actions were deliberate and premeditated, and that he felt the world was collapsing due to global issues such as war, the fentanyl crisis, and child sex trafficking.

This story is developing…

Nancy Loo
Nancy Loo
Digital Reporter. Nancy Loo is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who brings an extensive background of international reporting to Truth Voices. Nancy’s career took her on news assignments to England, China, Japan, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Northern California, Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon.

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