Couple Survives 200 Feet Plunge

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

June 30, 2005

It was a very scary afternoon for a very lucky couple after their car plunged down a mountain today.

One minute before noon, the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad got a terrifying call. A car, with a man, woman, and dog inside had plummeted 200 feet down an embankment near the 104 mile marker off I-64. CARS knew it was going to be serious.

"We've been up here before for accidents, so we knew it was going to be a major rescue," said CARS' John Burruss.

The rescue required a team effort of area squads. After climbing down to the Nissan Xterra, the rescue workers discovered the couple was not trapped inside. They were able to immobilize them and pull them up the hill using a rope.

The couple held their heads in pain, but luckily were still conscious.

"The initial report was [for] neck and back pain and scratches and bruises and that was it. They're pretty lucky," said Burruss.

Officials say the car tried to turn into the scenic overlook, could not slow down, crashed into the guardrail and plummeted down the hill.

One man saw it all happen.

"I saw this brown or black sedan going overboard which was [in an] upright position and tumbling over the rail, and going over the mountain, and I was like 'Oh my God!'" recalled witness Greg Jones.

Jones called 911 and within an hour the couple was taken to the UVA Medical Center. The dog was taken to the SPCA.

The victims say they lost control of their brakes. Jones is just happy he was there to help when they did.

"Jesus gave me the opportunity to see it and I had the opportunity to respond," said Jones.

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