First responders are saying that the results of a single-vehicle crash in California are a miracle. All four occupants of a Tesla survived with only moderate injuries after plunging down a cliff known as the Devil’s Slide more than 250 feet. The rescue effort involved multiple helicopters and advanced emergency techniques.
The Devil’s Slide has had a reputation for danger since the 1950s. Located just south of the Tom Lantos Tunnel, the feature is a steep drop-off with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean on Highway 1. According to authorities, the Tesla was traveling south on that highway and had just exited the tunnel not long before going off the road and rolling on its way to its final resting place on the rocks below.
Witnesses saw the accident and called 911 right away. As rescuers made their way to the vehicle via repelling equipment, motion was spotted via binoculars in the front of the crumpled Tesla. To expedite the rescue, authorities called in helicopter support. While waiting for air support, firefighters made their way down the cliff and rescued two children, aged 9 and 4 with the help of a Stokes Basket.
Once helicopters arrived they were able to effectively rescue the two adults in the vehicle. All four were taken to local hospitals with at worst, moderate injuries. In fact, some sources claim that the kids were unharmed, and to put it lightly, that’s unbelievable.
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Brian Pottenger, the CAL FIRE/Coastside Fire Incident Commander, told news crews at the scene that the team was shocked when they found survivable victims in the vehicle. “We go there all the time for cars over the cliff and they never live. This was an absolute miracle,” he said to USAToday.
Everything surrounding this incident seems pretty incredible. From the way that the Tesla managed to absorb the impact enough to keep the family inside safe to the incredible measures that rescuers took to retrieve them. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is still investigating the cause of the accident but as we mentioned above, this area is well-known for similar incidents.
It’s worth noting that based on its initial investigation, the CHP does not believe that the Tesla was operating in Autopilot or Full Self-Driving mode when the the accident happened, according to Officer Mark Andrews who spoke to ABC News.