Motorist plunges 300 feet over cliff, airlifted to hospital

Crew of Rescue Helicopter 14 hoist a man to safety after he plunged 300 over a cliff. Photo courtesy LACFD Air Operations.


A Southgate man was hoisted by a rescue helicopter from the bottom of a 300-foot ravine early Monday morning after his car plunged over the side.

The injured 21-year-old driver was taken by helicopter to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Search for the driver began shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday after a witness saw the car go over the side of the embankment, Officer Josh Greengard of the California HIghway Patrol said Monday.

“It was fortunate that we had a witness see him go over,” he said.

“He went down a 300-foot, steep embankment,” Greengard said. “It was an extremely dark and remote area. So we requested an airship.”

The crew of a Los Angeles County Fire Department rescue helicopter was able to locate the vehicle and the driver, he said, noting both were spotted near mile marker 8.9 on the southern portion of Sand Canyon Road.

The crash happened one mile south of the Santa Clara Divide Road, off the Sand Canyon extension that winds into the Angeles National Forest.

Firefighters and members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, including Rescue Helicopter No. 14, were dispatched to the area shortly after midnight, Fire Department Inspector David Michel said.

“We had one patient 250 to 300 feet over the side, who was found conscious,” he said.

Emergency crews cleared from the area at 1:35 a.m. Monday while tow truck operators remained to pull the crashed 2017 Subaru from the ravine.

The Urban Search and Rescue Program is a structured response system began on April 4, 1993. The mayor and City Council authorized the Fire Department to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to become a sponsoring agency for one of the nation’s 28 FEMA US&R Task Forces.

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