Man Survives 200 Ft.Plunge Off Grand Canyon
PHOENIX, Ariz. –“Lucky” --An Arizona is lucky to be alive after driving his car over the south rim of the Grand Canyon by accident Monday.
The unidentified 21-year-old driver was treated for nonlife threatening injuries at a Flagstaff hospital Monday after plunging 200 feet over the lip of the mile deep chasm, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman, Maureen Oltrogge said.
The driver, whose name is being withheld pending completion of an investigation, was saved from dropping further into the canyon after his car struck a large pine tree, Oltrogge said.
"He was an extremely lucky individual," Oltrogge told the Associated Press by telephone.
The incident came to light after a visitor to the park called authorities on Monday night to report that he had found an injured man in the roadway near the Twin Overlooks, just short of the canyon.
The man told the visitor that he had accidentally driven his vehicle over the canyon rim. The visitor called the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center and reported the accident.
The driver told park rangers that he had extricated himself from the car, climbed up to the rim and flagged down a passing motorist.
Park rangers located the vehicle lodged up against the pine, and are developing a plan to remove it. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service.
Authorities said accidents like this are rare, However, there are known cases of people driving off the rim of the canyon in an attempt to commit suicide.
In December, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention report cited the Grand Canyon as second in the U.S. among national parks for suicides.
The report cited 11 suicides and 10 attempts between 2003 and 2009 in the national park..