Faced with allegations of intentionally driving his Tesla Model Y off a cliff near Pacifica in a desperate attempt to harm his family, a radiologist from Southern California is not willing to take any risks when it comes to California medical regulators.
This week, regulators argued in court filings that practicing medicine safely is a cause for alarming concern to the general public, as it represents a dangerous risk due to the cognitive impairment of needed abilities.
The motion board stated that the Defendant should be prohibited from practicing medicine throughout the pendency of his criminal case in order to ensure the protection of the public.
The request, which was made with the assistance of a lawyer from the California Attorney General’s office, was approved by Judge Rachel Holt at a hearing on Monday in the San Mateo County Superior Court.
Patel, 41, continues to be detained without the possibility of bail in the San Mateo County detention center following his apprehension.
On Jan. 2, Patel’s family was sent hurtling 250 feet down onto a rocky beach near Devil’s Slide along Highway 1 due to the car crash. Investigators believe Patel drove off a cliff. Patel sustained injuries to his leg and foot, while his wife suffered more severe injuries. Their 7-year-old child was also severely injured, but their 4-year-old child only sustained bruises. Both children were discharged from the hospital less than a month after the accident.
He had turned on the light sensor of the car’s tire-pressure beforehand. He added that while driving to Devil’s Slide area, he stopped at gas stations three times that day, as investigators told him. Patel has pleaded not guilty, claiming that the Tesla of his family had been experiencing tire issues.
Investigators say that the “features” of Tesla’s self-driving car did not appear to be a contributing factor in the incident. Court documents show that accounts, which were supported by video from Tom Lantos Tunnels, also indicate that the car never appeared to brake as it flew off the highway, according to witnesses.
Arguing with regulators, Dr. Patel made comments that were cited after his wife rescued her from the crumpled car. She later told one emergency worker that Dr. Patel drove off from the crumpled car, adding that he did so with a purpose.
As per the court records, Patel’s spouse mentioned “He’s feeling down.” He’s a physician. He expressed his intention to steer towards the edge of the precipice. He deliberately proceeded with the act of driving off.
During those first few moments, the wife urged emergency crews to perform a psychological evaluation on her husband in court documents shown. Since the vehicle was wrecked, emergency crews have taken Patel’s mental health to a stage center.
When investigators spoke to Patel, he stated in an affidavit supporting his arrest that he was not truly experiencing depression, but rather feeling down due to the challenging circumstances in the world, such as the war and drug-related issues.
According to court records, Patel expressed his desire to visit his brother’s residence near Montara during their return journey to the Los Angeles region due to his wife’s apparent state of being “irritated” prior to the accident. When questioned directly by investigators about his state of mind, Patel clarified that he was not typically suicidal and that it was not premeditated.
Investigators were seeking the electronic data recorder of the crash, along with data uploaded from the vehicle to Tesla’s “cloud” servers, which contained a significant volume of information.
The scheduled preliminary hearing for this week was postponed as lawyers persist in examining the evidence in the case.