Daring cliffside rescue saves family injured in crash near Devil's Slide

A family of four is recovering after their Tesla went over a cliff near Devil's Slide Monday morning, according to Cal Fire.

The crash was reported shortly before 11 a.m. on State Route 1, south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels.

Several agencies, including Cal Fire, Coastside Fire Protection District, and the North County Fier Authority assisted in the daring rescue of the trapped family.

"We come out here, unfortunately, for things like this. And this was nothing short of a miracle that they survived," said Brian Pottenger, a battalion chief with the Coastside Fire Protection Dist.

A man, his wife, and their 4-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were traveling southbound on State Route 1 when their vehicle veered off the roadway, officials said.

About 30 to 50 rescuers responded to the scene to try and reach the car that dropped about 300 feet and came to a rest on the rocks near the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

"We did have one witness state the vehicle did veer off the road to the right-hand side, went up into the dirt area, and then proceeded to go off the cliff," said Pottenger.

Rescuers said it was amazing the family survived.

When first responders first arrived at the scene they saw a passenger signaling for help.

While air ambulances were headed to the crash site, crews decided to remove the two children by rope first.

"We made the decision to hoist the children immediately instead of waiting for the ETA on the helicopters to arrive," said Pottenger.

Once the children were safe, as many as three helicopter pilots performed precision maneuvers. They hoisted each adult from the wreckage, while at the same time, maintaining a safe distance from each other and the rocky cliffside.

By early afternoon, all four passengers had been transported to Stanford Medical Center. The husband and wife sustained moderate to critical injuries. The two children's injuries range from minor to moderate.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating why the driver veered off the roadway.