911 calls, police reveal more details after car plunges off cliff

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VERMILION, Ohio- Vermilion police officers, firefighters and paramedics teamed up late Thursday night for the dramatic rescue of a driver, whose car plunged off a cliff above the Vermilion River Valley.

The first call for help came from a nearby resident who told a 911 dispatcher, “We're sitting in our house and I think somebody went over the cliff down by our house; they're blaring their horn right now continuously.”

Police say the driver of the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, failed to negotiate a curve on Vermilion Road, went off the road and knocked over small shrubs and trees.

The car then struck a boulder, shearing off a section of the rock, before traveling 420 feet through a wooded area on top of the cliff. The vehicle then slammed into a large tree and plummeted 50 feet down the embankment.

Investigators say the passenger in the car was able to climb up the side of the cliff, but when the driver got out of the car, she rolled another 50 feet down the embankment, and came to rest up against a tree.

Rescue crews rushed to the scene, and after assessing the situation, were able to pull the woman to safety, using ropes, pulleys and a rescue basket.

Vermilion Police Patrolman Andrew Davis told FOX 8, "That's a tough, complicated rescue. I mean, they make it look easy. They did a great job, but the bottom line is you've got to coordinate; you've got to talk with your radio; you've got to figure out exactly the depth, and you've got to execute.”

The unidentified woman was taken by Life Flight to MetroHealth Medical Center. No information is being released about her injuries, or the injuries suffered by her passenger.

The investigation revealed the driver had been drinking before the crash. "Just not necessary, it's just very upsetting to hear that. They come around this curve so fast all the time," said Vermilion resident, Marilyn Cherney.

The owner of the property where the accident happened says he initially thought the people in the car might have been killed.

William Morse told FOX 8, "I am so happy; I mean, it's amazing that people can do this and come out of it without being seriously damaged, so happy they're alive and I'm hoping no broken bones."

Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung told FOX 8 that the driver will face charges that include OVI and failure to control.

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