A man was in "extremely critical condition" after driving over a cliff early Friday morning in Palos Verdes Estates, falling at least 100 feet in the car onto the Bluff Cove shoreline. 

Authorities were called at 2:03 a.m. about the wreck and "found him over the side on the shoreline," according to Ed Pickett of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Pickett said it took about an hour and 20 minutes to get the man, who he described as being in "extremely critical condition," out of the car.

Television images showed waves crashing into firefighters trying to extricate the man, who had to be hoisted up to the top of the hill and into a helicopter. Lifeguards were called in to assist in the rescue effort.

The driver of the car was not immediately identified, but KTLA-TV reported that he's approximately 19 years old and that some witnesses said it seemed as though he drove over the cliff intentionally.

Pickett said it's unclear what caused the man to drive over the cliff, but that an investigation was ongoing.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com