Car plummets off cliff near Cabrillo National Monument - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Car plummets off cliff near Cabrillo National Monument

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Two men in their 70s were injured today when the pickup truck they were in jumped a curb at Cabrillo National Monument and plunged about 250 feet down a steep brushy embankment.

The driver apparently hit the gas pedal instead of the brake while trying to park at the Point Loma tourist attraction about 9:15 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The Chevrolet S-10 went over a sidewalk in the lot off Cabrillo Memorial Drive and careened about 225 feet down the adjacent precipice, then went over a steep "dropoff," overturned and slid about 25 more feet before coming to rest, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said. 

By the time emergency personnel got to the upside-down truck, the passenger, 77, had managed to extricate himself, but firefighters had to free his 75-year-old companion from the damaged vehicle. They then put the driver on a litter and hoisted him back up to the parking lot, from which he was airlifted to UCSD Medical Center for treatment of apparent internal injuries.

Crews, meanwhile, strapped the other man into a stretcher and pulled him up the hillside. A ground ambulance then took him to the same Hillcrest trauma center where his companion had gone.

The older man told firefighters his companion had a hip problem that apparently caused him to accidentally step on the accelerator while trying to park the truck, Luque said.

Both men were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, likely ensuring that they did not suffer more severe injuries, the spokesman said.

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