WALLINGTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) – Wallington police said a man drove his car into the Passaic River early Saturday morning.

Police responded shortly before 4 a.m. in Wallington near Main and Midland avenues where a 21-year-old male had driven into the river, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The driver, officials said, is lucky to be alive after plunging 40 feet off the cliff into the river.

“He drove through the weeds over here. There’s no road back here into the river,” Fire Chief Bill Kullaf said. “I’d say a good 40 feet. It plunged off. Right off the cliff.”

After investigating, Wallington police confirmed the driver of the car will be charged with driving while intoxicated.

A diving team arrived and conducted a search for the car, fearing that another intoxicated person was in the vehicle.

“He didn’t know. It was like, that point of intoxication where you don’t know what’s going on. We have to go the full route, check the vehicle,” Kullaf said.

The driver made it to shore after officials pulled him out with a rope. He was then taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with only minor injuries.

“We threw a rope down the embankment and he was able to hold onto it,” Kullaf said.

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