According to the California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information Page, a vehicle has gone over a cliff on the Highway 1 between Elk and Manchester near the Beacon by the Light bar.
A unit from the Elk Fire Department is responding.
This is an evolving situation and the article will be updated as more information is gathered
UPDATE 1:46 p.m.
The vehicle is approximately 200 feet down the cliffside. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has been contacted to assist in recovery.
UPDATE 1:55 p.m.
The California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information Page indicates the vehicle that fell down the cliff is a two door pickup truck and that no first responders have reached the vehicle yet.
UPDATE 2:00 p.m.
The truck is on the beach and first responders are indicating the tide is getting higher and closer to the vehicle and are concerned it could be submerged within an hour. The Coast Guard has been contacted to assist in the incident.
According to the scanner, units are being dispatched to try and get a view of the vehicle’s occupant via binoculars.
UPDATE 2:08 p.m.
The scanner indicates one occupant has been observed within the pickup truck via binoculars. A heavy duty has been requested for recovery, the Coast Guard is sending a boat to the scene, and a helicopter will be responding as well.
UPDATE 2:44 p.m.
Scanner traffic indicates a long-line rescue has commenced or has already been completed. Personnel at the scene told the dispatcher the Coast Guard was no longer needed because of the long line rescue.
UPDATE 2:52 p.m.
No details have been offered on the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page, but the type of incident has been designated a “fatality.”
UPDATE 8:30 p.m.
R.D. Beacon, a Mendocino Coastal resident, watched first responders navigate today’s tragedy from afar and said the victim was a woman in her mid thirties. He described first responders attempting to extricate the vehicle from the bottom of the cliff using a cable but it broke and the vehicle tumbled back to the bottom. He said first responders will return tomorrow to re-approach the vehicle extrication.
The following photographs of first responders attempting to extricate the victim and the vehicle were provided by R.D. Beacon:
UPDATE: 9:04 p.m.
Sergeant Aaron Finnegan of the California Highway Patrol spoke to MendoFever about today’s tragic accident on Highway 1. He said the cause of the vehicle’s plummet down the cliffside is currently under investigation. He added there is no obvious evidence of the driver taking evasive actions to avoid going off the road’s edge.
Sergeant Finnigan told us the decedent was successfully recovered from the base of the cliff with the help of Mendocino Fire District personnel and other agencies entailing high angle rescue strategies and equipment. He said personnel will return tomorrow to extricate the vehicle.
Sergeant Finnegan was unable to identify the decedent due to the fact next-of-kin still needs to be informed of the circumstances.