Man injured after car plunges off mountainside in Anza

Diane Sieker photo

ANZA (CNS) – Firefighters rappelled down a mountainside Tuesday morning to rescue a man whose Volkswagen Golf veered off Highway 371 in Anza.

The car went down an embankment west of Burnt Valley Road at 6:54 a.m., the California Highway Patrol reported.

At least 15 firefighters were sent to the scene, along with a Mercy Air medical helicopter.

After firefighters successfully brought the patient up to the roadway via a rope tow, a ground ambulance took him to the helicopter, which airlifted him to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, authorities said.

Accounts differ on the distance the car plummeted and severity of the driver’s injuries, with CHP Officer Darren Meyer saying it was about 75 feet and describing the motorist’s injuries as minor, and the Riverside County Fire Department estimating that rescue crews rappelled down about 150 feet and describing the patient’s injuries as moderate to major.

Meyer said the driver, whose name was not immediately released, was the only person in the car.