CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered the story behind a life-saving rescue when a car went down a cliff, and now the driver has been sent to prison.

Last winter, a car went over a cliff, or very steep embankment, off of Fulton Parkway in Cleveland.

That led to a rescue with police and firefighters using ropes and more to carry out a difficult, dangerous rescue of four people.

Tuesday, the driver, Jose Martinez went before a judge for driving drunk and causing the crash.

But, we found a story of survival and forgiveness.

The people riding in the car were all friends and relatives.

“I was scared, but I didn’t know what was going on at that time,” said Alex Davis. “Honestly, I don’t really remember what was happening when we was going down, but before that, we were having fun. That’s really all I remember because I blacked out completely.”

Yet, despite what happened, the survivors asked for mercy for the driver in court.

“We know it’s the law, so somebody has to be punished for it, Elijah Martinez said. “It’s an accident. We all forgive him.”

“I want to apologize to the courtroom, to my family, Alexis. For having one night of fun, I never knew it would get into an accident like this,” Jose Martinez told the court.

Cleveland police found Jose Martinez had been drinking, and a report shows he admitted to drinking before the crash. Investigators also found he’d been driving 80 miles an hour.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors hit him with charges carrying prison time.

Judge William McGinty sentenced Martinez to two years in prison.

“Alcohol. Speed. Accident,” McGinty said,

Davis tells us she has recovered from her injuries and can look past what happened. But, she also does not overlook what it took for rescuers to get to everyone in the car.

“I appreciate them for rescuing us, making sure my family’s alive and got out of there. I’m grateful, I’m fine now,” she said.