WATCH: Man Rescued 2 Days After Driving Over 400-Foot Cliff

By Bill Galluccio

February 29, 2024

Rescuers save a man two days after he accidentally drove over a 400-cliff
Photo: California HIghway Patrol Coastal Division Air Operation

A California man is lucky to be alive after he accidentally drove over a 400-foot cliff between Big Sur and Carmel. The California Highway Patrol Coastal Division Air Operations said that they received a request asking for help searching for a man who was reported missing on Tuesday (February 27).

The man left work on Sunday night but never made it back to his home.

The Coastal Division Air Operations rerouted an A-71 airplane that was in the area for a separate call and started searching the coastline from Post Ranch in Big Sur to Monastery Beach in Carmel.

About 20 minutes later, the plane located a car with a man frantically waving a make ship flag next to it on the beach about 400 feet below Highway 1. An H-70 helicopter was dispatched to rescue the man.

Rescuers rappelled down and hoisted the man back up into the helicopter.

The man told authorities he was driving along the highway when he swerved to avoid some deer and ended up driving over the cliff. He said that as his car plummeted toward the beach, he was ejected from the vehicle through the sunroof.

He was taken to the hospital for treatment and is recovering from moderate injuries.

You can watch the video of the dramatic rescue below.

On Tuesday February 27th, 2024, at approximately 0830, the Coastal Division Air Operations Unit received a call from Pacific Grove Police Dispatch, requesting H-70 fly the coastline from Post Ranch in Big Sur to Monastery Beach in Carmel to search for a possible vehicle over the side. It was reported that an employee from Post Ranch in Big Sur left work at approximately 2330 hours on Sunday night and never arrived home. The CHP Airplane (A-71) was already in Monterey County for a separate call and responded to the area to search the cliffs below Hwy 1. A-71 arrived approximately 20 minutes after the request and located a vehicle approximately 400 feet over the side near the beach below. A solo male was standing next the vehicle franticly waving a makeshift flag at A-71. H-70 responded from Paso Robles and arrived overhead approximately 40 minutes later. The Big Sur Fire Chief top roped down to the victim and began to assess his injuries as H-70 arrived. The driver stated that while driving home late Sunday night, he swerved to miss some deer in the roadway causing him to veer off the roadway and roll several hundred feet down the cliffs edge. The driver reported that he was ejected through the sunroof as his car rolled down the hillside. There is no beach access or trails at the collision site, nor was the vehicle visible from the roadway. H-70 hoisted the victim and the Big Sur Fire Chief from the crash site and flew the driver to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas for further treatment and care. A-71 was instrumental in finding the crash site and reporting the location to H-70 for rescue. Even though the victim had been over the side for two days, he appeared to be stable and suffered moderate injuries. CHP - Monterey Big Sur Fire Monterey County Sheriff's Office Monterey County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Trisha Butcher CHP - Air Operations California State Parks CHP - Coastal Division

Posted by CHP - Coastal Division Air Operations on Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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