Man Trapped When Vehicle Tumbles Off Mulholland Drive

Thursday, January 18, 2007 |

On Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 2:24 PM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, two LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 42 Los Angeles Firefighters, under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a vehicle over a cliff with entrapment near 9787 West Donington Place in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles.

Jaguar in the Abyss. © Photo by Ryan Ling EPN.Summoned by 9-1-1 callers who witnessed a Jaguar sedan plunge down a steep brush covered hillside alongside winding Mulholland Drive, Firefighters responded both above and below the site in a search for persons injured.

Aided by the aerial reconnaissance of a Firefighter/Pilot aboard an LAFD Helicopter, Firefighters were soon able to commence the 100 yard trek from below that offered them best access.

Sprinting up the hillside in waist high brush, Firefighters discovered the 70 year-old driver and sole occupant of the vehicle trapped in fuel-soaked wreckage, which amazingly did not catch fire.

Crawling into the dangerous confines of the mangled sedan as their fire extinguisher-toting colleagues stood by, Firefighters made contact with and offered reassurance to the physically trapped septuagenarian, who had sustained serious chest injuries.

Steady Over The Canyon. © Photo by Michael Corral.Given the life-threatening nature of his injuries, a Firefighter/Paramedic was lowered by cable from an LAFD Air Ambulance steadily hovering 75 feet above, and was soon working alongside his ground-based colleagues to extricate, treat and prepare the man for rapid transport.

The critically injured man was placed in a litter basket stretcher, and along with the flight crew Paramedic, quickly hoisted aboard the Bell 412 twin-turbine rotorcraft for the four minute flight to the Trauma Center at the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

No other injuries were reported.

The man's use of seat belts and the presence, activation or effect of supplemental restraint systems were not immediately determined by Firefighters. The cause of the incident remains under active investigation by Los Angeles Police officials.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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