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Driver survives 400-foot plunge into canyon

Firefighters rescued a 39-year-old woman Wednesday morning who drove off the road and plunged 400 feet into a canyon in Orange County.

“She’s very lucky to be alive,” California Highway Patrolman Sgt. Chris Johnson told KTLA. “I’ve been in the Highway Patrol about 20 years and this is definitely up there with one of the more amazing things I’ve seen.”

The woman’s car came to a stop when it landed in a tree, suspended 30 feet off the ground. Firefighters and other officers had to use a ladder to rescue the woman, who only suffered moderate injuries, and then the power had to be cut in the area in order to remove the car, which was near power lines.

The authorities told KTLA that a storm expected in Southern California Wednesday could have made the incident even more of a nightmare for the woman.

“If we would have had the rain, it would have been extremely slippery and that car probably would have slipped even further down off the tree and come down,” Orange County Fire Department spokesman Steve Concialdi told KTLA. “She might not be alive today.”

It’s not clear why the woman drove off the road and down the embankment, but a witness told KTLA the woman pulled off onto the side and drive over the cliff.

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