'I Really Miss My Partner:' Wife Of Tesla Driver Who Plunged Model Y Off California Cliff Wants Him Back, Not In Jail

The wife of the man who drove a Tesla Inc Model Y off the side of a cliff in California in 2023 has reportedly pled to court to not prosecute him. Neha Patel was in the car during the incident with her two children.

What Happened: "I don't want to see Dharmesh prosecuted with any of his charges," she said in court on Thursday, as per a report by San Francisco Chronicle. "I am pleading with the court to grant him his mental health diversion."

Appearing in court over Zoom, Neha Patel said that a mental health episode led to the crash but that it is treatable and expressed her wish to be reunited with her husband.

"Seeing my kids in constant pain is one of the hardest things I've had to endure," she reportedly told the judge. "Once I tuck my children into bed at night I'm reminded of my own solitude. I really miss my best friend. I really miss my partner in my life."

Why It Matters: Dharmesh Patel drove a Tesla Model Y off a San Mateo County cliff on Jan. 2, 2023. The vehicle plunged 250 feet down the cliff and flipped several times before landing right-side up.

The occupants of the vehicle were rescued via helicopter before the driver was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder. The couple and their older 7-year-old child suffered serious injuries in the incident.

Dharmesh Patel pleaded not guilty to the charges and wants to qualify for mental health treatment instead of prison time. He initially told authorities he didn’t intentionally drive the vehicle off the side of the cliff but instead, he was pulling over to check his tire pressure when the car went into freefall.

Patel’s wife, however, told first responders that her husband intended to drive the car off of the cliff in an attempt to “kill everyone” inside. She added that he needed a psychological evaluation.

Judge Susan Jakubowski will determine whether Patel has a qualifying mental illness and whether it contributed to his alleged crime, the report said, while adding that the judge also has to determine if Patel would benefit from treatment and if he presents a public safety threat.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: S&P Dials Down Tesla's Governance Score Amid Concerns Over Elon Musk's Dominance — But Retains ‘BBB' Credit Rating

Representative photo via Shutterstock

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