Man stranded on Big Sur cliff for 2 days after harrowing crash

(KRON) – An injured man was stranded for two days alone on a rugged ocean cliffside after he survived a harrowing crash over Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur, investigators said.

A California Highway Patrol Coastal Division Air Operations Unit conducted an aerial search of the rugged coastline and spotted the man waiving a makeshift flag below Hurricane Point on Tuesday. His vehicle had plummeted 400 feet down to a beach below. Big Sur, renowned for its natural beauty, is located along California’s central coast and is accessible via a narrow, winding, two-lane highway with a precipitous drop along much of the Pacific Ocean side.

The crash victim is an employee of Post Ranch Inn, a luxury resort that attracts celebrities for its world-class ocean views. The employee left Post Ranch Inn around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the CHP said.

Someone later alerted authorities that the man never made it home.

On Tuesday morning, the CHP’s helicopter search and rescue team was notified by the Pacific Grove Police Department that the man was still missing. Officers were informed that the missing man could be anywhere between Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, and Monastery Beach in Carmel.

(Image courtesy CHP Coastal Division Air Operations)

Investigators had a hunch that he may have crashed somewhere along Highway 1. The coastal highway is infamous for beautiful landscapes and major crashes.

From the air, the CHP Coastal Division Air Operations Unit spotted the wrecked vehicle 400 feet down a cliff near the beach below. “A solo male was standing next the vehicle franticly waving a makeshift flag,” the CHP wrote.

(Image courtesy CHP Coastal Division Air Operations)

An hour later, a Big Sur Fire Chief used a rope to climb down to the victim.

“The driver stated that while driving home late Sunday night, he swerved to miss some deer in the roadway causing him to veer off … and roll several hundred feet down the cliffs edge. The driver reported that he was ejected through the sunroof as his car rolled down,” the CHP wrote.

The man was stranded at the collision site because it was impossible to climb back up the 400-foot cliff, investigators said. A narrow stretch of sand separated the cliffs from powerful breaking waves.

(Image courtesy CHP Coastal Division Air Operations)

The helicopter crew hoisted up the victim and the Big Sur Fire Chief before flying to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.

The CHP wrote, “Even though the victim had been over the side for two days, he appeared to be stable and suffered moderate injuries.”

Video of the incredible Big Sur crash rescue can be viewed in the video player above. (Video courtesy CHP Coastal Division Air Operations).


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