UPDATED WITH PHOTOS: 65-Year-Old Sunnyvale Man Rescued From Pescadero Beach After Driving Over Cliff Off Highway 1; No Skid Marks Seen

Coastside Fire, La Honda Fire Brigade, State Parks, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and emergency paramedics responded to the call for help at approximately 3:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Updated 10:55 am 2/7: "As of last night, the victim's status is in critical condition and his family has not been notified," Art Montiel, California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer, said this morning.

Montiel also said that the victim was still in Stanford Hospital's care as of last night.

Updated 5:33 pm 2/6: According to Art Montiel, California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer, the victim is a 65-year-old male out of Sunnyvale. Montiel said today that CHP was notified about the incident at approximately 2:40 pm yesterday from a call made by an unknown person at a call box on Highway 1 located about 50 feet from the scene of the incident.  The incident is still currently under investigation, according to Montiel.

"We didn't see any skid marks at the scene, for some unknown reason," Montiel said.

Montiel said that the driver was heading southbound on  Highway 1 and made a right turn onto the embankment area and over the cliff. No guardrail is located at the section of Highway 1 where the incident occurred.

As of the time of publication, authorities have still not released the victim's name, so his condition is currently unknown, as well as whether he is still being treated at Stanford Hospital. Both the Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol have said the name of the victim cannot be released until next of kin is notified and his identity positively confirmed.

Information about when the CHP was notified has been inserted into the original published story below.


A man who drove his car off a cliff on a stretch of Highway 1 near the north end of Pescadero State Beach on Saturday afternoon triggered a joint emergency response which ended in a rescue that airlifted the victim to Stanford Hospital, according to Ari Delay, Coastside Fire Battalion Chief.

Coastside Fire, La Honda Fire Brigade, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, State Parks and American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance paramedics were called to the scene at approximately 3:05 p.m. after a dispatch from the fire department came through as a "man down at Pescadero State Beach," Delay said.

California Highway Patrol Art Montiel said that the CHP was notified about the incident at about 2:40 pm Saturday afternoon by an unknown person calling from one of the call boxes along Highway 1 located near the scene of the incident.

"We're not sure who initially called 911, but when we got to the scene, there were two or three people with the victim on the beach," Delay said.

According to Coastside Fire, the car had fallen 100 feet below the edge of the cliff and the victim was found 200 feet further on the beach.

Delay said that the victim's silver car was found upside down when the emergency response team arrived at the scene.

A lifeguard from State Parks and AMR paramedics drove a four-wheel drive vehicle a few miles down the freeway to rescue the victim, according to Coastside Fire.

"They drove down to where the waves were crashing against the cliff," Delay said, where the challenge, according to Delay, was to get through the tide coming up against the cliffs.  "Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't get through [to the victim], depending on the tide," said Delay.

The team was able to get through the tide to rescue the victim, who was not identified by name, according to Delay.

"He was in critical condition while in our care," said Delay.

The victim was airlifted by Stanford's Life Flight Air Ambulance to Stanford Medical Center, according to Coastside Fire. Highway 1 was shut down at the scene while the incident was being handled, according to Sergeant Earles of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, and was reopened later in the day.

The victim's car was towed away, according to Delay.

While the victim's rescue was underway, a search for potential additional victims was conducted as well.

The Sheriff's Air Squadron conducted an aerial search, while firefighters constructed a rope rescue system to search for any additional victims in the vehicle or in the adjacent area, according to Coastside Fire.

"When people are ejected from a car like that, they can end up landing on the brush," said Delay.

No additional victims were found, according to Delay.

The current condition of the victim is not known at this time. Calls to the Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol did not result in the victim's name being released, so it could not be confirmed whether the victim is still being treated at Stanford Medical Center at the time of publication.

Joe Tioga February 06, 2011 at 08:21 PM
It was actually Cal Fire that was on the scene
Kristine Wong February 06, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Hi Joe, Thanks for your comment -- Yesterday I spoke with Ari Delay, Coastside Fire Battalion Chief who was on the scene of the incident at the top of the command post. Delay said that it was Coastside Fire on the scene, so I reported it as such. I know that CalFire is contracted to provide services for Coastside Fire, so perhaps it's a matter of semantics?
Joey Sanderson February 07, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Hi Kristine! Ari Delay is a Cal Fire employee working for coastside fire protection district. Great article! what a valiant effort made by all the crews there!
Kristine Wong February 07, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Thanks Joey! I agree -- it was quite the rescue.


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