Motorist airlifted after plunging off cliff on Highway 1

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


A motorist was airlifted to a hospital Sunday afternoon after his car went over an embankment and fell 200 feet off Highway 1 near Fort Ross.

The 55-year-old man survived the 2:35 p.m. crash and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in critical condition, CHP dispatchers said.

Rescuers from at least five agencies responded to the accident, Timber Cove Fire Chief Erich Lynn said.

“It is about 1,000 feet down to the bottom of the cliff,” Lynn said. “We had a team of people on ropes navigating the complicated rescue situation.”

It was a difficult save because the car rolled onto the driver’s side, trapping the man, Lynn said. He said a trained rope rescuer from a fire department on the East Coast was hiking in the area while on vacation and volunteered to help.

Lynn said he isn’t sure how long it would have taken for someone to find the driver had hikers not spotted him.

CHP pilot and paramedic Shaun Bouyea said the driver was extremely lucky, despite his severe injuries.

“The chance of someone seeing him going over the edge was really lucky, because of how irregularly people drive back and forth around there,” Bouyea said.

A small cluster of trees and bushes were the only reason the driver did not tumble all the way down into the ocean, Bouyea said.

Responders from Cal Fire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CHP and firefighters from Timber Cove and Monte Rio were called to the crash. There were no other motorists involved.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated.

You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337 or On Twitter @CrossingBordas.

Please read our commenting policy
  • No profanity, abuse, racism, hate speech or personal attacks on others.
  • No spam or off-topic posts. Keep the conversation to the theme of the article.
  • No disinformation about current events. Claims of "Fake News" will be delayed for moderation
  • No name calling. "Orange Menace", "Libtards", etc. are not respectful.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine