PACIFICA (CBS SF) — A man was rescued Friday after his van plunged more than 100 foot off a cliff and crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Highway 1 outside the Devil Slide’s tunnel, authorities said.
Cal Fire Battalion Chief David Cosgrave said the driver “swerved and then careened over the edge and into the ocean.”
The California Highway Patrol reported the accident on Highway 1 between Montara State Beach and Gray Whale Cove at 7:52 a.m. On helicopter video, a man was seen being aided on the rocks by rescue team members who had repelled down the cliff.
“We arrived on the scene to find the vehicle completely submerged,” Cosgrave said. “The van was in the surf line in a deep ravine.”
Cosgrove said the only occupant of the van had already gotten out of the vehicle and scurried up the rocks.
The man was pulled up the cliff and appeared not to be seriously injured. He was loaded onto a stretcher and taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.
“He claimed to not have any serious injuries,” Cosgrove told reporters. “We were able to bring him up on a rope system and he was treated for paramedics for hypothermia.”
Meanwhile, the heavily damaged van was partially submerged and bobbing in the surf, crashing into the base of the cliff.
“It’s underwater and probably won’t be recovered,” Cosgrove said of the van.
Rescue teams from San Mateo County, the CHP And the Coast Guard were on the scene.
The CHP said the accident remained under investigation, but it was believed to be caused by driver error. Alcohol or drugs were not involved in the crash.