A firefighter leans out over the cliff

Photo courtesy Cal Fire

A firefighter leans out over the cliff south of the Devil’s Slide tunnels on Thursday after a man inexplicably drove over the side. He was rescued as he attempted to climb to safety himself.

man is in stable condition after driving his vehicle over the cliff, south of the Devil’s Slide tunnels, on Thursday morning, authorities said.

California Highway Patrol public information officer Mark Andrews said an officer was patrolling the area that morning when he noticed tire marks heading off the side of the cliff and saw a car in the water below. Andrews said the 21-year-old man had already exited the car and had begun climbing up the cliff before the officer told him to wait for assistance.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Cecile Juliette said the officer called for help at 8:35 a.m. Roughly 20 minutes later, fire crews pulled the man to safety. The man was in stable condition but was treated for injuries before being taken to the hospital after complaining of pain.

The man told officers he was the only person in the vehicle. Fire crews from the Coastside Fire Protection District, San Mateo County and the North County Fire Authority responded to the incident.

Andrews said the car, a 2005 Honda Civic, would remain in the water until the tide and swell were less dangerous.

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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