‘A Miracle’: Tesla Passengers Survive 250-Foot Plunge Off Cliff at Devil’s Slide
Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Published Jan. 3, 2023
A family of four inside a white Tesla was rescued after the EV fell about 250 feet off a cliff at Devil’s Slide in California.
Considering the factors surrounding the accident, the survival of all the Tesla’s occupants has been dubbed by rescuers as “nothing short of a miracle.”
The incident happened at about 10:50 a.m. Jan 2. Per the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire, the EV went off the roadway and plunged down a cliff on Highway 1, just south of the Tom Lantos Tunnel. The vehicle was carrying two adults and two children.
The state of the Tesla’s wreckage initially did not make rescuers very optimistic about the survival of its occupants. But upon realizing the vehicle’s passengers were alive, the rescuers went into overdrive, immediately extricating two children, a 9-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister. The children’s injuries were described as mild to moderate.
The two adults’ injuries were more severe, and they were airlifted from the site. It was a difficult rescue, conducted in bad weather and in challenging terrain, putting the rescuers in the helicopters at risk themselves. They were able to safely extricate the two adults, who were rushed to a trauma center, where they are currently recovering. Their injuries have been described as critical.
Battalion Chief Brian Pottenger later told the media the results of the accident were remarkable. “We come out here, unfortunately, all too often for things like this. And this, this was nothing short of a miracle that they survived,” Pottenger said.
Robin Johnson, a witness to the accident who called 911, told NBC Bay Area the Tesla seemed to be driving far too fast, at least according to what she could tell from her rearview mirror. Johnson said she saw the Tesla just go over the edge of the road and straight down the cliff.
“As I’m driving by, I’m like, ‘Wow, he’s driving extremely fast to take that exit.' You’re not even supposed to be going up that way. And I can see in my rear-view mirror this car just go over the edge and straight down,” Johnson said.