National News

Tourist rescues driver from car dangling over edge of parking structure

Posted June 11, 2018 7:06 p.m. EDT

— 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.

The incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. in Parking Structure 5, which is located in the 1400 block of Fourth Street, according to the Santa Monica Fire Department. The structure is adjacent to the Third Street Promenade and roughly across the street from Santa Monica Place.

Fire Capt. Patrick Nulty told KTLA the driver, a woman in her 60s, inadvertently 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.