A man in his 20’s and his passenger are lucky to be alive after flying off a 200 foot cliff in a stolen vehicle. Both suspects are listed with “minor” injuries and the driver was walking around on the bottom of the Salt River when cops finally caught up to him.
Off a cliff and lived
Rescue crews in Phoenix, Arizona had their hands full Tuesday night, pulling two car thieves up 200 feet of cliff face. Police in neighboring Tempe spotted a vehicle reported stolen near 40th Street and University Drive.
When they flipped the lights on, the “driver refused to stop.” He also “hit one of the police cruisers while fleeing the scene, resulting in a short pursuit.”
Tempe police didn’t even try to keep up. The chase was “ultimately terminated.” Their suspect was “driving at a high rate of speed with erratic behavior.” They didn’t chase him off the cliff. He did that all on his own.
Technical Rescue Teams from @PHXFire & @TempeFire performed a “Steep Angle” rescue near 32nd St & the I-10 after a car fell 200 feet down a cliff. The driver of the vehicle was transported to the hospital in stable condition. pic.twitter.com/MElQST7P6q
— Phoenix Fire Dept. (@PHXFire) December 7, 2022
Shortly after, reports came in that the suspect had been located. “officers patrolling the area saw the suspect’s car over the embankment and called in rescue crews.”
This is a developing story and the “timeline between the pursuit ending and the suspect driving off the cliff was not disclosed.” Phoenix Fire Captain Todd Keller is amazed.
His crew got to test all their skills in a “high risk rescue.” Keller is just happy this doesn’t happen often. “Two hundred feet down is substantial.” The driver was “very lucky.” When taken to the hospital he was “only complaining of rib pain.”
Flew off the freeway
Nobody is mentioning what the make and model of vehicle are but it must have been moving pretty fast when it launched off the side of Interstate 10, where it crosses the Salt River. It also must come equipped with some impressive safety features.
There isn’t any water in most Arizona rivers, including the Salt, which means nothing at the bottom of the cliff to cushion the impact but gravel. According to Keller, “crews performed a steep-angle rescue and had to scale two 100-foot cliffs to get to the driver.”
Cops aren’t sure if the man was ejected or if he crawled out at some point. His passenger had to be extracted. No serious injuries are reported.
Rescue clues had to strap both into baskets as a precaution and carry them back up the cliff. It was certainly a workout.
At the top of the cliff, the suspects were handed over to Tempe police, who tagged them first. Phoenix Police and U.S. Marshals were all at the scene.
There were no reports of injuries to any of the first responders involved in the pursuit and rescue.