Early in the morning on July 29, a driver crashed his car through a gate near Osprey Street and flew off of Sunset Cliffs into the sand below. The car flipped in mid-air as it plunged close to 50 feet before landing on its rear and then settling right side up on the sand.
The male driver, the lone occupant, is believed to have been intoxicated. He emerged from the vehicle and was seen walking around it before huddling in a cave.
The accident is thought to have occurred around 4 a.m., according to Lt. Stone, because a resident heard the noise and called the police.
According to SDPD Lt. Natalie Stone, "The driver was combative when approached by a single officer, so backup was called in. He appeared to only have minor injuries and possibly hypothermia because he was wet."
A helicopter had to raise the driver from the beach due to the location; the cliffs are difficult to climb in that area. Although the driver was taken into custody, no charges were immediately made against him.
To bring up the car, divers were called in to attach steel cables from a crane. The tide started rising during the cable attachment, and the incoming waves forced the crane operators to relocate the car so it wouldn't be swept away by the waves or fall on the divers.
Removing the car wasn't easy because it kept getting caught on the cliff wall, which twisted it around. After a coordinated effort, the vehicle and its debris were safely removed.