Authorities are investigating whether alcohol or drugs played a factor in the incident
Traffic Collision into building with Physical Rescue
Credit: Santa Monica Fire Department

A California man is lucky to be alive after he drove his car off of a six-level parking structure early Sunday morning.

The driver, who was identified as a 20-year-old resident of Twentynine Palms, was the only person inside of the vehicle when it drove off the side of a building in Santa Monica, according to authorities.

He was transported to UCLA Westwood hospital in critical condition and is currently “recovering in stable condition,” the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) confirmed in a press release.

The incident unfolded around 12:10 a.m. on 2nd Street and Colorado Boulevard after officers were called to the scene for a report of a “traffic collision with a physical rescue.”

Traffic Collision into building with Physical Rescue
The scene of the accident
| Credit: Santa Monica Fire Department

When they arrived, officers discovered that the man had driven his newer model Jeep vehicle into a McDonald’s, which was located across the street from the six-level parking structure.

Despite severe damage to both the vehicle and the building, which were shown in photos posted on Facebook, officers said the man survived and was able to speak to authorities.

“The driver while injured, was conscious, suffering and speaking with officers when they arrived,” police noted.

The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) was then called to the scene around 12:20 a.m. to assist with the rescue of the man. According to a press release, 15 firefighters arrived to help “stabilize the vehicle” before freeing the man from his car.

“Significant damage was sustained to the top of the parking structure, as well as the building,” the SMFD wrote. “A representative from the Building and Safety Department was requested to the scene to assess the structural integrity of the parking structure.”

Traffic Collision into building with Physical Rescue
The Jeep
| Credit: Santa Monica Fire Department

As the driver was being transported to the hospital, he “experienced non-visible health issues while under the care of the Santa Monica Fire Department,” authorities said.

“Officers have obtained a warrant for the driver’s blood to determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident,” the SMPD stated.

Authorities also said two other people were in the Jeep when it began to drive off the structure, but were “able to jump out” before the crash.

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“This is the information we have at this point of the investigation. We are continuing to investigate the incident and may uncover different facts,” the SMPD added.

Anyone who may have information on the incident is asked to contact detectives with the Santa Monica Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at (310) 458-8941 or the Watch Commander at (310) 458-8491.