Accident investigated as attempted suicide
The condition of Mike T. Kim has improved slightly, according to officials at Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
The 33-year-old Sacramento man, critically injured after his car plunged about 100 feet down an embankment Sunday afternoon near Echo Summit, was listed Monday in serious but stable condition.
Kim’s accident is being investigated as an attempted suicide, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.
Moments before he crashed his car, he reportedly told his wife in Sacramento, via his cellular telephone, “take care of the kids” and “I love you.”
The woman contacted the South Lake Tahoe Police Department because she next heard a crash sound and then the phone line went dead, according to a sheriff’s department report.
It was while she was on the phone telling dispatchers about her concerns when the dispatch center received reports about Kim’s accident.
Kim was thrown from the passenger compartment of his Honda CRX as it rolled down the steep, rocky embankment off U.S. Highway 50 between Johnson Pass Road and Echo Summit.
His body came to rest about 100 feet down the slope from the road. His vehicle came to rest about 50 feet farther down the hill.
Witnesses told authorities at the scene that Kim was traveling west on the highway and made a left turn at the spot his car plunged over the edge of the highway. His car traveled through a gap between a guardrail and rock formation before rolling down the embankment.
Rescuers hiked down to Kim and hoisted him back to the highway. He was taken by ambulance to Barton Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Washoe Medical Center with major, life-threatening injuries.
He underwent surgery Sunday and is recovering from multiple fractures and internal injuries, according to hospital officials.
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