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Teen who drove off cliff may have been attempting suicide, police say

Teen who drove off cliff may have been attempting suicide, police say
A salvage crewman signals to colleagues above as he works to retrieve a car that went over a cliff in Palos Verdes Estates. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles teenager who drove over a cliff early Friday morning in Palos Verdes Estates and fell at least 100 feet onto the Bluff Cove shoreline may have been trying to kill himself, police said.

The 19-year-old was in "extremely critical condition" following the incident.

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"Statements by the driver to investigating officers as well as physical evidence at the scene indicate the 19-year-old intentionally drove off the cliff's edge in what may have been a suicide attempt," according to the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

The incident began around 2 a.m. near the 1300 block of Paseo Del Mar. Authorities found the man "over the side on the shoreline," according to Ed Pickett of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As waves crashed nearby, it took crews about an hour and 20 minutes to get the teenager, who Pickett described as being in "extremely critical condition," out of the car.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was airlifted to a hospital.

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