HomeOutdoorsNewsDriver Rescued After SUV Nearly Plunges From California Cliff

Driver Rescued After SUV Nearly Plunges From California Cliff

by Caitlin Berard
Seaside Cliff in San Diego, California
(Photo by David Robinson via Getty Images)

California firefighters rescued a man whose car went off the road and was left dangling from a cliff, the front two tires hanging in mid-air while spray from the tempestuous sea below washed over the hood.

On Saturday evening, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department received a call regarding the incident. According to witnesses, the driver was parked in the road before inexplicably jumping the curb, crossing the guardrail, and nearly falling to his death, his vehicle balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff.

“Very crazy scene,” Tyler Mitchell, an employee at a nearby restaurant who witnessed the event, told FOX56. “It was very worrisome at first because you just want to know. I didn’t know how far it was off the edge, then I came down here and it was the front two tires off. It was a lot more nerve-wracking down at this view than up at my angle.”

The dangerously high surf created an even more concerning situation for first responders, as waves crashed against the car, threatening to pull it from the ledge. Miraculously, however, the driver landed on rocks, keeping the car in place while rescuers secured it further with ropes. “Sheer luck the car landed where it was,” said Battalion Chief Dave Seneviratne.

Using a life pulley system with an aerial ladder, lifeguards successfully pulled the man from his car and back onto solid ground. First responders say the man suffered only minor injuries.

Another Car Rescued From California Cliff a Day Prior

Believe it or not, first responders’ daring rescue of the California driver who nearly drove off a cliff was only one such mission last weekend. The day before, three people escaped a deadly situation almost 500 miles away when California Highway Patrol rescued them from a car mere inches from falling from the edge of a cliff in Santa Cruz.

At first, the CHP didn’t consider the incident of high concern. The citizen who reported the vehicle said it was hanging over the edge of a ditch. Upon his arrival, however, CHP Officer Murphy realized that the situation was far direr than anyone thought. Rather than a ditch, the car was almost vertical on the edge of a cliff. Only a single tire prevented it from plunging to the ground below.

To make matters worse, three terrified people were trapped inside the vehicle. “They were scared for their lives and were in disbelief,” CHP officers recalled in a subsequent Facebook post.

Working to remain calm and therefore calm the victims, the officer gave the occupants instructions on how to escape. With the help of Officer Murphy, all three occupants escaped the harrowing ordeal unharmed.

“We cannot stress this enough,” the Facebook post said. “Please only drive if it’s necessary. If you do need to drive, please slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and give enough space between yourself and surrounding vehicles.”