Marin County driver who died in crash off Highway 1 cliff identified

A Marin County man who died when his car crashed down a Sonoma Coast cliff north of Jenner was identified Wednesday as Louis Francis Thoelecke, 65, of San Rafael, Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said.

Thoelecke was behind the wheel of a 2014 Tesla when the electric car veered off Highway 1 and crashed down a steep oceanside cliff about 5 miles north of Jenner, according to the CHP.

The Tesla wreckage was found about 300 feet below Highway 1 between Fort Ross and Meyers Grade roads.

A caller reported seeing the crashed car at about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday.

The cause of the crash was still under investigation. CHP Officer Jon Sloat said investigators were looking into several factors that lead them to suspect the crash was intentional on the part of the driver, including the lack of skid marks or other signs of evasive action to avoid crashing over the cliff, Sloat said. They are working with the San Rafael Police Department to look into Thoelecke’s state of mind before the crash.

North Bay Suicide Prevention Hotline (855) 587-6373

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