California woman survives 700-foot plunge off highway

A California woman survived a perilous 700-foot plunge after her car went off a highway in the San Bernardino Mountains on Thursday night.

California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Quintero told the San Bernardino County Sun that the unidentified 26-year-old woman crashed around 5:45 p.m. while driving southbound on Highway 18. He said she appeared to have made an intentional left turn off the road.

She was able to call for help but couldn’t tell dispatch her exact location. Using her cellphone, authorities were able to figure out her approximate whereabouts.

San Bernardino County firefighters went down the mountain to rescue the woman, who was taken to a hospital.

Battalion Chief Bob Evans said he was “amazed” that the young woman was “doing quite well” despite the drop.

"I don't know what her prognosis will be, but she has an altered level of consciousness and some back pain, understandably," he said.

Evans also told the Sun that finding her in the dense woods was like finding “a needle in the haystack,” and that once they did locate her, they needed to tie their longest rope (500 feet) to another rope to reach her.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.