By Jeremiah Dobruck
3:04 PM PST, November 9, 2013
Firefighters rescued the driver of a car that plunged off a 200-foot cliff on Coast Highway early Saturday morning.
The vehicle ended up in a creek below East Coast Highway near Reef Point Drive in Newport Beach just before 5 a.m., according to a statement from the Newport Beach Fire Department.
Newport Beach fire, Laguna Beach fire, Orange County Fire Authority, California Highway Patrol and Newport police all responded to the scene after the driver called 911 and said water was rising in his car, authorities said.
"There were no witnesses to the incident, which made it challenging locating the vehicle," NBFD Capt. Kevin Tiscareno wrote in a news release.
Limited access and heavy brush in the area also made the rescue operation a difficult, according to Newport Engine 65 Capt. Dan Chapman.
Firefighters lowered ropes to maneuver down the cliff and light the scene.
The car was upside down when rescuers found it, according to Newport Beach police.
Once they located the vehicle, firefighters used extrication tools to rescue the victim from the wreckage, according to the department.
Paramedics took the driver to Mission Hospital's trauma center in Mission Viejo with minor injuries — only a broken arm, according to police.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor, Newport police Lt. Evan Sailor said.