Firefighters use Helicopter to Rescue Man Whose Car Crashed into a La Jolla Embankment

July 12, 2022

San Diego firefighters pulled off an incredible rescue earlier in July when they used a helicopter to save a driver whose car fell 50 feet down an embankment in La Jolla.

The crash happened around 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6 on Route 52 near Interstate 5 in La Jolla. The driver’s vehicle ended up overturned 50 feet down an embankment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier this month.

First responders initially couldn’t find the vehicle. However, the car itself — a BMW model — sent an emergency signal to the 911 system after its crash. That signal helped rescuers pinpoint its location, San Diego Fire-Rescue officials said.

The driver, 34, had been traveling west on SR-52 to the La Jolla Parkway offramp when he spotted something in the road. He swerved to avoid it, which caused the vehicle to veer off the pavement and careen down an embankment, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Car crash on La Jolla embankment from July 6th. Image courtesy of NBC 7, San Diego News

While firefighters had trouble finding the car because it was so far down the slope, they spotted the wheels from the southbound 5.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Craig Newell said the driver must have been going fast to launch his car in such a way.

“He flew so far off the transition ramp and landed in the iceplant” on a shelf, he added.

To carry out the rescue, firefighters used a helicopter hoist to lower a paramedic to the crash scene. The man, unconscious at the time of the rescue, was extracted from the car and rescued via gurney.

The helicopter then transported the man to a local hospital for treatment.

Rescuers believe that the man suffered minor injuries during the crash. Authorities added that drugs or alcohol were not thought to be factors in it.

About the author: Mike Peterson is a freelance journalist and writer based in North San Diego County. He’s written and worked for a number of local media outlets, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, the North Coast Current, and the Oceanside Blade.

The banner image of the helicopter rescue from La Jolla embankment on July 6th is courtesy of Times of San Diego and taken by Onscene.tv.