Driver injured after vehicle crashes off cliff on Mount Tamalpais

The driver, who authorities did not identified, was flown to an area trauma center, suffering from major injuries.|

A vehicle toppled over a cliff on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County Friday night, falling about 530 feet before crashing into a tree, authorities said.

The accident occurred on Ridgecrest Boulevard near the Cataract Trail access point.

The driver of the vehicle was eventually extricated from the vehicle and then airlifted to a local trauma center for major injuries, according to a news release from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Three U.S. Air Force airmen saw the vehicle fall shortly before 8 p.m.

They made their way down the ravine, officials said, as the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Henry-One, and Marin County agencies responded to the scene.

The men relayed more information to dispatch and attempted to provide aid to the driver before emergency personnel arrived.

A Marin County Fire Department captain rappelled down to the vehicle, where he began life-saving measures on the occupant, officials said.

Henry-One used a 200-foot-long line to drop two paramedics, a tactical flight officer and extrication equipment to the vehicle, which was wedged against a broken tree that stopped it from dropping farther down the side of the mountain.

Last night (4/28/23) at around 7:53 PM, Henry-One responded with numerous Marin County agencies to the area of Ridgecrest Dr. on Mt. Tamalpais for the report of a vehicle accident. The initial information was that a vehicle had gone over a cliff and was several hundred feet down in a ravine. It was believed there were possibly two patients trapped in the vehicle. Three US Airforce Airmen, who witnessed the accident, had made their way down the ravine to the vehicle. They attempted to provide aid before emergency personnel arrived and provided valuable information to Dispatch. A Marin County Fire Captain arrived on-scene and rappelled to the vehicle. He began life saving measures on what was determined to be the only victim. A REACH medical helicopter and the California Highway Patrol Helicopter H-32 also responded. Henry-One arrived on-scene and immediately deployed the onboard Sheriff’s Office Paramedic to the vehicle using a 200-foot long line. The vehicle was located approximately 530 feet down in the hillside and appeared to have only been stopped by a large tree. The vehicle was wedged against the broken tree, which was holding the vehicle up from falling further down the hillside. To expedite getting extrication equipment to the vehicle, the Henry-One Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) prepared Marin County Fire Department’s equipment to be flown in along with a Marin County Fire Paramedic. The extrication equipment, TFO, and MCFD’s Paramedic were flown to the vehicle using the 200-foot long line. After an extended extrication, the patient was removed from the vehicle and packaged on a traverse rescue stretcher. The patient, TFO and Sheriff’s Office Paramedic were flown via the long line to an awaiting ambulance on the road above. The ambulance transferred the patient to the REACH Helicopter who was then flown to a local trauma center with major injuries. CHP Helicopter H-32 retrieved a rescuer who had injured themselves trying to make access to the vehicle. This incident is a perfect example of multiple agencies working together for the common goal of saving lives

Posted by Sonoma Sheriff on Saturday, April 29, 2023

The driver was removed from the vehicle, strapped into a rescue stretcher, taken to the road above via the long line and eventually taken to an area hospital by a REACH medical helicopter.

The California Highway Patrol helicopter, H-32, retrieved another person from the site who was injured while trying to get to the vehicle, officials said.

You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at On Twitter @madi.smals.

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