Corvette plunges 150 feet down mountain after driving off Arizona cliff, rescuers say

The crash occurred near the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona on Friday afternoon, according to first responders.
The crash occurred near the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona on Friday afternoon, according to first responders. Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Department

A 70-year-old Utah man had to be rescued Friday after his Corvette veered off Interstate 15 in Arizona, sending the car tumbling 150 feet down a mountainside, authorities said.

The Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Department responded to the crash just after 4 p.m. and found the man in critical condition, the department said in a Facebook post.

Rescuers said they had to use a “low-angle rope rescue system” to get the man off the mountainside after they reached him and provided life support.

“He vaulted his 1998 Corvette into a canyon adjacent to the highway,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms said, according to the St. George News. “If the motorist traveling behind the car had not witnessed the incident, the driver likely would have died long before being discovered.”

Rescuers used a low-angle rope rescue system to get the man off the mountainside, they said. Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Department

Responders said the man had been heading north on the highway near mile marker 17.

Photos from the scene posted on Facebook by Beaver Dam/Littlefield responders show the vehicle torn apart after the wreck. Large portions of the driver’s side appear to have been ripped off in the fall, leaving the tires exposed.

The man, a resident of Washington City, Utah, was outside the white Corvette and seriously hurt when responders got to him, the St. George News reports.

Bottoms said the man wasn’t wearing a seat belt when he lost control of the car and rocketed off the cliff next to the highway — rolling several times and falling to the bottom of a deep ravine, according to the newspaper.

The local fire department said on Facebook that the Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the cause of the crash.

The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the fire department said. The man’s name was not released.

Driving is second nature to many of us, but dangers still exist on the roadways. Kyle McNew of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service provides three simple tips for driving safely and avoiding traffic accidents.

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