Tourist rescues driver from car dangling over edge of California parking structure

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jun 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-11 22:44:54-04

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – A tourist rescued a woman from her car as it dangled precariously off the side of a multi-story parking garage in Santa Monica late Monday morning, officials said.

A car was dangling from a Santa Monica parking structure on June 11, 2018. (Courtesy Merle Stadnyk)

Fire Capt. Patrick Nulty told KTLA the driver, a woman in her 60s, was parking in a space when she inadvertently hit the accelerator instead of the brake. That nearly propelled the vehicle off the fifth floor of the structure, but safety cables that serve as a barrier prevented the car from plummeting off, he said.

A bystander helped open the door and managed to get the woman out the dangling car.

“There was … probably a 3-foot gap between where the passenger door was to where she could be pulled over to the fifth floor,” Nulty said, describing the dangerous conditions. He added the gap was basically a “straight shot down.”

The bystander, described only as a tourist, didn't want any recognition and quickly left the scene.

The woman was unharmed but shaken up.

About two dozen firefighters were dispatched to the scene, including search and rescue personnel, to stabilize the car. The vehicle was safely removed shortly before 11:40 a.m., according to a KTLA photographer at the scene.

Amid the operation, fire officials were warning people to stay away from the area until the operation was complete, citing possible hazards.

Fourth Street was blocked off between Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard, video from the scene showed. Several Fire Department vehicles and ambulances could be seen parked on the street.

The street has since been reopened.