April 18, 2024
All four passengers, including two children, survived after their Tesla plummeted down a cliff near California's "Devil's Slide" Monday, officials said.

All four passengers, including two children, survived after their Tesla plummeted down a cliff near California’s “Devil’s Slide” Monday, officials said.

The Tesla appeared to have fallen “hundreds” of feet, according to Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief for Coastside Fire Protection District/Cal Fire. The victims were a 4-year-old girl, 9-year-old boy, and two adults, all of whom miraculously survived. Emergency services quickly dispatched for the successful rescue attempt.

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California Car Falls Off Cliff
This image from video provided by San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office shows a Tesla vehicle that plunged off a Northern California cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, near an area known as Devil’s Slide, leaving four people in critical condition, a fire official said. The vehicle fell about 250 feet (76.20 meters) from the highway, the fire official said. Motorists were told to expect delays as rescuers worked. Helicopters were expected to transport four people to hospitals. (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The damage to the vehicle indicated that the car had flipped and impacted against the cliffside several times before crashing, wheels down, against the rocky shoreline. Rescuers used ropes attached to their fire trucks to rappel down the cliff, and were stunned to discover movement inside the vehicle through the windows.

“We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never live. This was an absolute miracle,” Pottenger said, per the Daily Mail. “They were more scared than they were hurt.”

All passengers were awake and aware when rescuers got to them. The doors had been jammed against the cliffside, so rescuers had to cut the car open. The two children were lifted out of the vehicle and up the cliffside, then flown via helicopter to a local hospital. Remarkably, they were said to only have “moderate” injuries.

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The adults’s injuries were much more severe, so they had to be lifted out by helicopter and flown to the hospital.

The reason for the crash is being investigated, officer Mark Andrews of the California Highway Patrol said, but it is not believed that the car was on autopilot when the crash occurred.

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