Thursday, December 7, 2023

[UPDATES: Fatality] Vehicle Goes Over Cliff on Highway 1 Between Elk and Manchester


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.

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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.

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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.

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  1. Lady hit a deer between 1 to 2am Friday. Called the police. Chp showed and didn’t find vehicle. But the deer was still moving. Chp shot the deer to drove off at 230am.

    A man early Saturday drove up to the dead deer to get the antlers, looked down the cliff and saw the a truck. He drove straight to the fire department to report it. Sherriff had know idea the incident for the night before. You have the rest of the story

  2. I was the person who found the truck. We stopped to get an antler off of the dead deer. As I was formerly a member of CalFire I out of habit looked around and saw the truck at the bottom of the cliff. This was about 12-12:30 pm. We ended up driving to Elk as there was no cell service and had the First Responders follow us to the Accident scene. It was stated by a CHP member on scene that the Deer had been hit by a tow truck driver and was later removed by CHP. The truck in the Accident was seen parked near the cliff around 11 pm and was not there later. My understanding from all at the scene was that the truck involved was not the one that hit the deer. We were of course hoping that the truck was allowed to go over the cliff in an insurance claim. Sadly there was a person in the vehicle, Condolences to the family.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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