Family and friends plan to honor the memory this weekend of a North Jersey investment banking executive as a search continued for the “cowardly” driver who fled after hitting him on Route 46.
Dharmesh Patel was crossing the highway near his Clifton home when he was struck on the westbound side shortly after midnight Sunday, authorities said.
As that vehicle sped off, he was struck by another whose driver stopped and stayed.
Patel was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead hours later.
Friends and loved ones called his death “the senseless act of a coward” who “left him there on the road.”
Patel, 35, was married and worked as a vice-president of Asset & Wealth Management Technology at JP Morgan Chase.
He had "his entire life planned ahead of him with his wife, Jayna, and their dog, Duprey,” Ravi Chokshi and Dave Majumdar wrote in a GoFundMe created for them. “No person should ever experience this sort of tragedy, especially at such a young age.”
Patel met Jayna in Illinois, where he was graduated from high school and college. They were married in 2017 and moved to New Jersey.
Patel later became known as “one of the most dedicated and intelligent team members in his department” at JP Morgan Chase, his obituary says.
However, his “true accomplishment was being a devoted and loving husband” and raising Duprey, it says.
"Mesh" had a passion for food and was a chef, sports enthusiast, traveler and “fashion trendsetter,” among other interests, hobbies and pursuits, the obituary says.
“Even at the age of 35, Dharmesh was a firm believer in always expanding his knowledge and to continue to learn,” it says. “[He] was never complacent, he was always thriving for more in his career to provide a life for his family that went well beyond their dreams.”
Besides Jayna, Dharmesh is survived by his parents, Harshad and Ila; his sister and brother-in-law, Mona and Nik Patel; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Nita and Rajesh Patel; his best friend and doggie companion, Duprey; and a loving circle of extended family and friends.
Many of them will gather from 3 to 5 p.m. this Sunday for a Basnu – similar to a repast – at Gayatri Chetna Center in Piscataway (240 Centennial Avenue, 732-357-8200).
Meanwhile, authorities asked that anyone who witnessed the crash or has information that could help identify the vehicle and/or driver involved contact the prosecutor’s office tip line at 1-877-370-PCPO or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Clifton Police Traffic Division at (973) 470-5908.
Chokshi and Majumdar, at the same time, promised to use donations to the GoFundMe campaign to “bring closure to Mesh’s family” by “bringing the coward responsible to justice.”
If the driver is caught and convicted, they said, the money will go to a charity for hit-and-run victims.
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