San Francisco man drives over Echo embankment |

San Francisco man drives over Echo embankment

by Gregory Crofton, Tribune staff writer

A 50-year-old San Francisco man drove through a guard rail late Saturday night and plunged more than 100 feet down a rocky embankment off U.S. Highway 50 just west of Frog Pond.

Ramiro Alvarez was driving a Lincoln Continental eastbound down Echo Summit when he lost control of his car and went through a curve in the road.

Alvarez suffered minor injuries. He scraped his elbow and complained of some facial pain. He was treated and released from Barton Memorial Hospital early Sunday morning.

“He had minor injuries probably because he was wearing a seatbelt and there was dual airbag deployment, ” said Lake Valley Firefighter Dylan Gissell.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at 12:15 p.m. and executed a low-angle rope rescue to reach Alvarez who sat next to his totaled car and waited for firefighters to reach him.

“It’s real steep terrain,” Gissell said. “There were rocks and boulders with deep trenches in between them and big downed trees and very loose footing.”

Gissell said it took rescuers less than an hour to bring Alvarez back up to U.S. Highway 50.

California Highway Patrol Officer Richard Valdez said Alvarez’s car damaged about 10 feet of the guard rail. The 50-year-old was cited for driving at unsafe speeds.

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