Harrowing dashcam video footage shows a car careening off of a cliff on Highway 1 near Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County, California. The footage was released by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, and shows what appears to be a dark-colored SUV speed around a corner and over a cliff without slowing down. It hits a roadside embankment which acts as a ramp, sending the car into the air before it flies out of frame on the video.
A witness said the incident occurred about 11 a.m. Monday. CalFire, the California Highway Patrol, the San Mateo County Fire Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search around the area of the accident and the 40 feet of water below but have yet to find any signs of the car or the driver. Rescue workers found tire tracks on the cliff and car parts in the water but could not confirm if the parts were related to Monday’s crash, according to officer Bert Diaz.
Rescue workers were able to organize and respond to the incident quickly but worsening surf conditions cut the search short. Bert Diaz, a California Highway Patrol public information officer, told Heavy.com that police “had all the resources,” including “California Highway Patrol, air units, San Mateo country sheriffs, Coast guard, dive teams, and the local fire dept.” and that the teams, “searched for the missing parties until conditions worsened.”
Diaz says rescue efforts have been suspended for the time being due to the weather. “In other cases, our dives teams are able to get out there and perform an extended search,” Diaz told Heavy.com, “That isn’t possible in this case. There is a plan in place for the resources to come back out when the water is more favorable.”
Diaz added that the only evidence police have to go on at this point is the video. “All the video shows is the vehicle veering off the cliff and it’s hard to determine if it’s an SUV or green or black,” Diaz told Heavy.com. “There’s no before or after so at this point, we don’t have any information. We are asking the public if they do have some information to come forward.” Diaz added. The only witness from the scene was the driver who captured the footage who did not have any additional information.
Police are still searching for answers and at this point do not know why the driver veered into the ocean, who was in the car, or if they survived the fall from the cliff.
The Video, Recorded by a Dashcam in Another Car, Shows the Vehicle Racing Off the Highway & Over the Cliff
You can watch the full dashcam footage below:
The video was recorded on the dashcam of another vehicle. It begins with that vehicle driving down a windy cliffside road. Suddenly, a car can be seen speeding across two lanes of traffic and onto a sandy overlook. The SUV does not slow down and appears to launch off of the cliff and toward the water below.
The video then ends and does not show any of the aftermath.
California Highway Patrol Has Not Yet Identified The Car or the Driver
Despite the dashcam footage and knowing exactly where the car careened off the highway, rescuers have been unable to find any trace of the vehicle or the driver. According to Officer Diaz, the video of the incident is brief, grainy, and makes it hard to tell what type of vehicle it is.
Diaz added that police are currently going through “missing person” reports for any leads on who the driver may be. They are also combing through stolen vehicle reports to try and find one similar to the one in the video.
“The Coast Guard is asking if anyone knows of the person who might have been in a green Lexus vehicle that is overdue, or they’re not sure where they are, please give the Coast Guard a call,” Coast Guard Lt. Toni Pehrson said Monday.
As of Tuesday morning, rescuers were still unable to continue their search due to inclement weather.
“You have to keep in mind that this happens periodically, so they do find car debris when they go out searching for something like this. Once a car goes over the cliff into the water, they might never find anything even if it did happen. We can’t say anything conclusively at this point,” Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the San Mateo County Fire Department, told the Mercury News.
The California Highway Patrol is searching for additional witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP at 415-407-3741.
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