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Driver stranded on Big Sur cliffside for 2 days after veering off roadway

Driver rescued after plunging over Big Sur cliff where he was stranded for 36 hours
Driver rescued after plunging over Big Sur cliff where he was stranded for 36 hours 00:58

The California Highway Patrol on Tuesday said crews rescued a driver who veered off a cliff in Big Sur after trying to avoid a deer on the roadway.

Officials said the man left Post Ranch in Big Sur, where he works, around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday but never made it home. Pacific Grove Police Dispatch asked the CHP to fly the coastline from Post Ranch to Monastery Beach in Carmel to help search for him.

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

Not long after arriving in the area, a car was spotted 400 feet below Highway 1 on the hillside. Rescue crews then spotted a man waving a makeshift flag next to the car. He was rescued about 40 minutes later when a CHP helicopter arrived.

The driver told rescue crews he swerved to miss a deer and was then ejected through his sunroof as the car rolled hundreds of feet down the hillside.

He was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries and was reported to be stable. 

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