After getting ‘spooked,’ woman drives off cliff in Santa Cruz

A tow truck retrieves the woman's vehicle from the cliffside.
A tow truck retrieves the woman’s vehicle from the cliffside.
(Santa Cruz Police Department)

A woman accidentally launched her sedan over a 30-foot cliff in Santa Cruz on Saturday night but survived after the car landed on a ledge.

“Luckily, we didn’t have to do a recovery from the ocean,” said Kelvin Ramer, owner of Auto Care Towing, who was called to the scene near the lighthouse on West Cliff Drive just before midnight.

The woman suffered a “very minor” injury to her foot. No one else was injured.


According to police, the woman was “spooked” when a man opened her car door, believing it was his family’s vehicle.

She accelerated up the curb, crashed through a metal fence and flew over the cliff.

Her sedan plummeted just 10 feet before landing, miraculously, on a cliffside ledge, Police Chief Andy Mills said.

“This incident was truly an accident,” police said in a written statement on their Facebook page. “It was dark and the individual does not see well at night.”

Ramer, the tow truck driver, said vehicle rescues from cliffs in Santa Cruz were fairly common. Ramer’s company has responded to three or four incidents in the county this year.

“People get confused whether it’s in drive or reverse and get startled sometimes,” Mills said. “It’s not that unusual.”