Authorities said that the heroic man who helped the driver out of the water disappeared before identifying himself

By Nicholas Rice
April 21, 2021 11:59 AM

A California driver who plunged off a cliff and into the Pacific Ocean survived the horrifying crash thanks in part to help he received from a former Navy corpsman, according to local reports.

An unidentified male driver was driving his white Subaru Forester in Carlsbad shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday when he crossed through multiple lanes of traffic and crashed through a guard rail, falling dozens of feet to the beach below, NBC affiliate KNSD reported, citing Carlsbad police.

A retired Navy corpsman, who has also not been identified, reportedly witnessed the accident and pulled the driver from the wreckage before administering first aid. He left the scene before officials could get his name.

"[He] went down there and actually pulled the victim out," Kevin Lynds, battalion chief with the Carlsbad Fire Department, told Fox affiliate KSWB. "I wish he'd hung out, because he deserves a lot of kudos."

The pair then waited for other rescuers to arrive, according to KNSD.

According to the outlet, the driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his leg, pelvis and chest.

"The fact that the patient survived was probably a testament to the engineering of the car," Lynds told KSWB.

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A witness who saw the incident said the man's vehicle was driving between 20 and 30 mph when it flew off the Southern California road.

"I'm just kind of amazed. I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Edward Monette told KNSD. "It was like slow motion. Like something out of a movie."

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Monette also said he did not at any point see the vehicle's brake lights come on.

After the incident, rescue crews used a crane to get the vehicle out of the water and back up onto the road, KNSD reported.