Driver crashes Jeep into Upper Newport Bay

An apparently intoxicated Costa Mesa resident drove her car into a Newport Beach nature preserve and then crashed into a marshy area of Upper Newport Bay early Wednesday, police said.

About half an hour after midnight Tuesday, the woman drove down a trail and broke through a barrier on the side of a bridge, dropping into the shallow water below, according to Newport Beach police and a report from KTLA-5.

The driver, Amy Melissa Gibson, 29, of Costa Mesa, was the only person in the vehicle, Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said.

Police say she took a 2004 Jeep off-road near the dead end of University Drive and its intersection with Irvine Avenue before ending up in the bay.

First-responders transported Gibson to a local hospital with minor injuries, and officers arrested her on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to police.

For at least an hour and a half, two trucks worked to remove the Jeep from the bay, Manzella said. City employees also boarded up the busted part of the bridge.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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