Montara, Calif. — A 4-year-old woman, a 9-year-old boy and two adults survived Monday after their automobile plunged off a Northern California cliff alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway close to an space generally known as Satan’s Slide that is identified for deadly wrecks, officers mentioned.
The Tesla sedan plummeted greater than 250 toes from the freeway and crashed right into a rocky outcropping. It seems to have flipped a couple of occasions earlier than touchdown on its wheels, wedged in opposition to the cliff simply toes from the surf, in line with Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for Coastside Hearth Safety District/Cal Hearth.
Crashes alongside Satan’s Slide, a steep, rocky and winding coastal space about 15 miles south of San Francisco between Pacifica and Montara, not often finish with survivors. On Monday, the victims have been initially listed in important situation however all 4 have been acutely aware and alert when rescuers arrived.
“We go there on a regular basis for vehicles over the cliff they usually by no means stay. This was an absolute miracle,” Pottenger mentioned.
The California Freeway Patrol does’t imagine, based mostly on its preliminary investigation, that the Tesla was working in Autopilot or Full Self-Driving mode on the time, Officer Mark Andrews mentioned.
The street’s situations have been additionally not believed to be an element within the crash. There was no guardrail on the spot the place the sedan went off the cliff.
“The automobile traveled off the principle portion of the roadway. For what motive, we do not know,” Andrews mentioned.
Witnesses referred to as 911 round 10:15 a.m. and the crews arrange a rope system from the freeway to decrease firefighters down the cliff, the battalion chief mentioned. On the similar time, different firefighters watching the sedan by binoculars instantly observed motion – an indication that no less than one individual was nonetheless alive.
“Each certainly one of us was shocked once we noticed motion out of the entrance windshield,” Pottenger mentioned.
The incident turned from what had been seemingly a restoration of our bodies to a rescue operation that took a number of hours amid fixed rain, heavy winds, slick roads and crashing waves. The doorways have been smashed in opposition to the cliff and jammed shut, so firefighters have been compelled to chop the victims out of the automobile utilizing so-called “jaws of life” instruments.
Crews pulled the children out of the again window and introduced them up the cliff by hand in a rescue basket utilizing the rope system. They have been rushed to the hospital by ambulance with musculoskeletal accidents.
“They have been extra scared than they have been damage,” Pottenger mentioned.
The adults had traumatic accidents, nevertheless, and needed to be hoisted up the cliff by a helicopter. They have been then each flown to the hospital, the battalion chief mentioned. It wasn’t instantly clear whether or not the 4 occupants have been members of the identical household.
But it surely turned out the adults suffered accidents that weren’t life-threatening and the youngsters have been unhurt, CBS Bay Area reports, citing the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Workplace.
Officers are investigating what prompted the Tesla to go off the freeway in that spot.
“I do not even like driving it,” Pottenger mentioned. “It is positively a treacherous stretch of California.”