For most of the history of vehicular travel, we’ve had to worry about our cars crashing into things, such as into other cars or trees or pedestrians. Many high-speed crashes happen when a vehicle crashes into a guardrail or concrete divider, for example. Sometimes we hear of cars driving into buildings, such as houses or businesses, although such accidents are fairly rare.
There is one thing cars very rarely crash into, though: the ocean! It is true that vehicles will often fall off of raised highways, perhaps tumbling down into an embankment or falling from an overpass. On very rare occasions, cars will drive over the sides of cliffs. And if said cliff gives way to a beach or the ocean? This situation causes new problems for rescue workers.
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This is exactly what happened early last Monday morning on the Pacific Coast Highway. A woman drove her car off the cliff and into the surf of a Southern California beach, according to this report from the Sacramento Bee. The car was found half-submerged in the water on its roof, with the driver trapped inside. It took rescuers from the Ventura County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol hours to finally pull the car from the water. They then pronounced the woman inside dead.
At first, there was a suspicion of a missing passenger. But the search for such a person was called off when it was discovered that the woman had been driving alone.
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