DEVILS SLIDE (CBS SF) — A car plunged plunged 200 feet off a cliff along Highway 1 in San Mateo County Monday morning, and the driver died of her injuries after a rescue crew was able to reach her and send her to the hospital.
Firefighters who were battling to contain the massive CZU Lightning Complex fire turned their attention to the driver rescue when her grey sedan came to rest precariously on an outcropping more than 100 feet above the beach near Gray Whale Cove south of Devils Slide.
Cal Fire posted on Twitter at around 9:30 a.m. that a rescue attempt was underway.
Firefighters are at scene of a vehicle over the cliff off of Highway 1 near Gray Whale Cove south of Devils Slide in San Mateo County. Cliff rescue in progress. @NoCoFire @SMCSheriff @CHP_RedwoodCity pic.twitter.com/kAtEkqCwzj
— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) August 31, 2020
The California Highway Patrol said witnesses reported the female driver was able to extricate herself from the wreck and then fell further down the cliffside toward the beach area.
A rescue crew was able to reach her and she was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with major injuries, a CHP spokesman said.
A tow truck had arrived to remove the car from the cliff.
By Monday morning, the CZU Lightning Complex wildfires had burned 84,860 acres, was 39 percent contained and at least 861 homes and 172 other structures destroyed. Damage assessment teams will again return to the burn area Monday, looking at the damage the massive fire has left behind. As of Sunday evening, 97 percent of their work has been completed.
Communities forced to evacuate along the San Mateo County coast south of Half Moon Bay were reopened and the area repopulated over the last several days. But Highway 1 in the burn area continued to be closed to traffic.