Crash Survivor, 18, Saved in White-Knuckle Rescue

Helicopter crew members pull woman from rocks below Pacific Coast Highway after crash
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2023 12:07 PM CDT

Late last year, California's Ventura County acquired a new state-of-the-art helicopter to be used in search and rescue operations by the county's Aviation Unit. As a heart-stopping video that emerged last week shows, that chopper is already paying off big time. The footage originally released on the division's Twitter account Friday shows the helicopter hovering over the ocean as crew members pull up an 18-year-old woman who'd driven her car off the Pacific Coast Highway earlier that day, reports NBC News.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the woman had been driving her Mercedes along the highway north of Malibu just after 1pm Friday when her car went off the road for reasons unknown. The vehicle went tumbling down onto the rocks below and flipped over, per authorities. They say the woman was able to get out of the car on her own but couldn't get back up the bluffs.

The video shows the helicopter lingering "dizzyingly above the coast," per NBC, with one rescuer peering downward to the shoreline below, where the woman was waiting near crashing waves. Viewers see just the lower part of the first rescuer's body, as well as their hand holding on to the hoist line as it pulls up another crew member tethered to the woman's stretcher. She was taken to a local hospital with major injuries, the CHP notes. (Read more rescue stories.)

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