Two adults and two children, 4 and 9, were rescued from a Tesla that plunged 250 feet off a cliff Monday morning in San Mateo County, California, officials said.
The car was traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway when it went over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, south of the Tom Lantos tunnel, and landed near the water’s edge, the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit said.
The car flipped and landed on its wheels, Cal Fire/Coastside Fire Incident Commander Brian Pottenger said. Witnesses called 911.
As crews were lowered to the crash site, they were able to see movement in the front seat through their binoculars, indicating there were survivors.
“We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle. So that actually was a really hopeful moment for us,” Pottenger said.
He said it’s “very, very rare” for people to survive such a steep fall. "It’s fairly common that we get vehicles off these cliffs” in the area south of Devil’s Slide, he added.
Fire officials called for helicopters to help hoist the survivors to safety. As they waited, firefighters rappelled to the scene and rescued the children.
Pottenger said both kids were in car seats that "saved their lives."
"The car seats actually did their job. Amazingly, they stayed in place. They were intact, and there was no damage to them," he said.
The California Highway Patrol shared video on social media showing helicopters lower first responders to the scene to extricate and rescue two adults.
Pottenger said the children and the adults were “grateful that we were there.”
All four were awake and conscious when they were transferred to Stanford Medical Center.
Pottenger said the children suffered minor musculoskeletal injuries and the adults suffered moderate traumatic injuries in several areas.
It's not clear what caused the car to go over the cliff. The highway patrol is handling the investigation.
Highway patrol officials said they do not believe the vehicle was in self-driving mode.