Driver rescued as SUV dangles over California cliff

SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — Firefighters rescued a man whose car went off the road in San Diego and was left dangling off a cliff.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department first got a call about the incident around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters said the vehicle went through a guardrail and landed on rocks on the beach in La Jolla Cove. The SUV was left in a precarious position, its front half hanging over the edge.

“Very crazy scene,” said Tyler Mitchell, who works at Duke’s La Jolla, a restaurant nearby. Mitchell said he started watching the rescue while finishing up work at the restaurant, which looks right down at the ocean.

“It was very worrisome at first because you just want to know,” Mitchell said. “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.”

Firefighters said the driver of the white SUV was parked on Coast Boulevard facing the ocean, but for unknown reasons, the car went over the cliff.

It was a high concern for first responders because of high surf. Waves could be seen splashing up the cliff and onto the car as the rescuers tried to reach the driver.

“Sheer luck the car landed where it was,” said Battalion Chief Dave Seneviratne.

Crews used ropes to secure the car, a life pulley system with their aerial ladder, and lifeguards were on standby to rescue the man. The rescue took about an hour and a half.

Battalion Chief Seneviratne said the man had minor injuries.


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