PINE MOUNTAIN : 3 Injured as Car Plunges Off Cliff

Two people were in critical condition at a Ventura hospital Sunday after their car plunged 500 feet off a cliff along California 33 north of Pine Mountain, authorities said.

A third person, who hiked back up the hillside and sought help from a passing motorist along the road, was in stable condition at the Ventura County Medical Center, where the others were also taken, authorities said.

Names were not released Sunday.

The accident occurred about 5 a.m. Sunday, officials with the Ventura County Fire Department said.

The woman who hiked out waited an hour for a passing motorist, who drove her 45 minutes to the Wheeler Gorge ranger station in Los Padres National Forest. There, she called the Fire Department.

California Highway Patrol officers were also dispatched.

A Ventura County Sheriff's Department helicopter soon afterward rescued the two other people, who were able to get out of the car, but were unable to climb the hill, officials said.

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