A California Highway Patrol spokesman says authorities have confirmed a vehicle drove off a cliff near Gray Whale Cove in Montara on Monday. Photos showed a “dark SUV” drove over the cliff, according to CHP Officer Bert Diaz. A San Mateo County Sheriff's spokeswoman indicated the images came from a witness's video.
The U.S. Coast Guard and CHP, however, suspended the search for the vehicle and any people who may have been inside due to unsafe ocean conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazards Statement effective until 9 a.m. today, and a High Surf Advisory until 9 a.m. on Thursday.
A witness reportedly told authorities he saw a vehicle go over a cliff at about 11 a.m. on Monday. One man at the scene said he was concerned when he no longer saw a vehicle behind him after driving around a bend on Highway 1.
Multiple agencies, including CHP, Coastside Fire Protection District, the Pillar Point Harbor Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene.
The Coast Guard remained on the scene until sunset, when the search was suspended because of low visibility. Petty Officer Taylor Bacon said the federal agency sent a helicopter, a small boat and U.S. Coast Guard cutter Pike to the search south of Devil's Slide.
He said authorities had a description of a green Lexus but noted, "that may not necessarily be accurate."
Bacon said crews had pulled some debris from the scene, but it is unclear if the debris was related to the search.
“This is definitely more of a unique case,” Bacon said.
No additional information is available at this time, according to Officer Diaz.
Anyone with any information about a car over the roadway is asked to call the Coast Guard dispatch at (415) 399-3530.