OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – A family who wanted to take their graduating daughter out to dinner made a wrong turn in the Oakland Hills Friday night and drove straight into trouble.
What was supposed to be a happy occasion almost turned into tragedy for the three people from Antioch in a white van.READ MORE: California Reopens: Newsom Marks End of COVID Restrictions, Awards $1.5M to 10 Vaccine Recipients
“They were making a U-turn and lost control and went over the embankment,” said acting battalion chief Joseph Torres of the Oakland Fire Department.
The van fell about 50 feet down a steep hill, described by Torres as at least a 40 percent grade. Some trees stopped the van from rolling farther down the hill.
“The vehicle was unstable, we were afraid that it was going to roll with the patients in it,” Torres said.
Firefighters said the victims were driving a rental van to pick up their daughter for graduation celebration dinner. Their daughter is going through commencement at UC Berkeley on Saturday.READ MORE: 2 Homes Burn in Separate South San Jose Neighborhoods
Witnesses said the mother was more worried about missing the commencement than her injuries as the firefighters rescued her.
“She was trying to figure out if she’d still be able to go to her daughter’s commencement, which is very sad,” said Robin Violet, an eyewitness. “It was terrifying.”
Firefighters brought the two women and a man all the way down to the bottom of the hill. Paramedics said they had moderate to serious injuries.
“It’s a sad story,” said Matt Violet, a neighbor. “There’s never a good time for that, but especially a day like that.”MORE NEWS: Will The Ford Maverick Be A Game-Changer In The Auto Industry?
Firefighters said they don’t know yet if the people inside the van would be released from the hospital Saturday and make it to the commencement ceremony.