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Man rescued 2 days after his car rolled 400 feet down California cliff

A man last seen Sunday at work was discovered two days later waving a makeshift flag to air rescue crews.
Man rescued 2 days after his car rolled 400 feet down California cliff
Posted at 7:46 PM, Feb 29, 2024

A man who never arrived home after work Sunday was finally found Tuesday morning, alive but hundreds of feet down a California cliff.

The California Highway Patrol Coastal Division said its Air Operations Unit began searching the coastline from Big Sur to Carmel after it received a call about a hotel employee who still hadn't returned home after leaving a late weekend shift.

Around 20 minutes later, a CHP plane that was already in the area saw a vehicle approximately 400 feet over the side of Highway 1, almost on the beach below. Next to the car, a solo man was seen "franticly (sic) waving a makeshift flag" at the airplane, CHP said in a Facebook post.

The Big Sur Fire chief roped down to the man to assess his injuries as the crews waited for another CHP aircraft to arrive. When it arrived 40 minutes later, the man and the chief were hoisted from the crash site, and the former was flown to a hospital for further treatment and care.

The driver told the rescue crews he was driving home from work Sunday night when he swerved to miss deer that had stalked into the roadway. This caused him to veer off the road and roll down the cliff's edge, during which he was ejected through the vehicle's sunroof. 

The vehicle landed in a spot that wasn't visible to the roadway and didn't have easy access to a beach or trail. But despite the tumultuous trip, CHP said the driver was stable and had moderate injuries at the point of rescue.

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