UPDATED 11:42 a.m.: A driver whose vehicle went over the cliff near Montara State Beach just south of Devil’s Slide on Friday morning has been transported by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital where authorities said he was receiving hypothermia and precautionary treatments.
“He claimed to be uninjured,” Coastside Fire Protection District Battalion Chief David Cosgrave said of the vehicle’s only occupant.
California Highway Patrol Spokesman Vu Williams said that he “suffered only very minor injuries.”
Authorities said they believe the driver is a man in his late 30s from outside of the area.
Dispatchers received the emergency call at 7:52 a.m. Both north and south bound traffic slowed as the road was limited to one-way traffic control as emergency vehicles — including U.S. Coast Guard helicopters — rushed to the scene.
Emergency officials said that someone had witnessed a vehicle going over the western edge of Highway 1, into the surfline and into a crevice.
“Shortly after eight this morning we were notified by San Mateo dispatch that a silver minivan hit the water,” U.S. Coast Guard Spokesman Cory Mendenhall said.
Williams said that the vehicle was so badly damaged that the make and model could not be identified, but that the driver had been able to climb out.
Emergency responders found the driver outside the car and conducted a rope operation to extricate him and lift him back up to the roadside, Cosgrave said.
Officials have ruled out drugs, alcohol, a suicide attempt and motor failure as causes of the crash.
Highway 1 has since been reopened in both directions.