“Miraculous survival” after teen driver swerves to avoid oncoming car, plummets 200 feet in Igo

IGO, Calif. — Authorities and witnesses say a teenage driver was lucky to survive after her vehicle plummeted more than 200 feet down a steep embankment yesterday morning, Wednesday, June 2. Witnesses to the accident later said the 16-year-old girl swerved to avoid a speeding car that was traveling the wrong way on Placer Road at the Veteran’s Bridge that passes over Clear Creek. A firefighter at the scene later called the girl’s survival “miraculous, simply miraculous.”


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Emergency personnel were alerted to the accident after witnesses saw the victim’s southbound SUV swerve to avoid an oncoming vehicle at a sharp curve along Placer Road, just north of Veteran’s Bridge. 

Swerving to avoid the other vehicle, which had entered the victim’s southbound lane of travel, the victim’s SUV careened off the roadway and soared more than 200 feet down the steep embankment. The young driver somehow managed to slow the vehicle’s decent down the embankment, which drops about 341 feet to Clear Creek below.

Once she got her SUV stopped, facing backwards toward the creek, the victim was able to exit her vehicle and climb back up the embankment to safety.

A teenage driver managed to escape injury after her SUV plummeted more than 200 feet down a steep embankment after the young driver swerved to avoid another vehicle that had drifted into her lane of travel. The harrowing crash happened at a blind curve along Placer Road in Igo, just north of Veteran’s Bridge. Amber Kay photo

“She did an outstanding job of stopping the vehicle and turning it off – making sure it didn’t start a fire,” Joetta Fergusson, administrator of Facebook’s Redding Crime and Community Alert/Shasta County later said of the traumatizing accident.

“That’s awesome that she went through all that and still made sure to turn off her vehicle, so it didn’t start a fire, so amazing!” RCCASC co-administrator Jodi Johnson later enthused.

Countless area residents responded RCCASC’s social media post about the girl’s near-death experience, including Michaela Raylean Jarrell, who wrote, “I’m so sorry and so glad she’s okay. WOW! She’s amazing for sure!!!”

“This is one of those nightmares you get when you sleep and your car drives off a cliff and your stomach drops,” she continued; adding, “That’s a big fall!”

“The universe works in mysterious ways,” she said.


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The victim’s SUV was later pulled back up to the roadway and officials have not yet identified or located the driver who reportedly caused the accident. Their investigation is continuing.

Although “bruised and sore” according to a local woman who knows the young victim, the girl one person called a “tough cookie” was reportedly back in school today after surviving her harrowing ordeal. She was met with hugs and tears from other students and faculty at the school she attends, who were all thankful she was still alive.

“I got to hug her today! She actually went to school today,” the woman enthusiastically told SCNS this afternoon.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.