SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KTLA/Tribune Media Wire) — Two people jumped from a Jeep before it plummeted from the sixth floor of a Santa Monica parking garage Sunday and landed across the street with the driver still inside, officials said.
All three survived.
The incident happened just after midnight at a parking structure two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
Firefighters responded to the scene to find a Jeep propped against a building and a McDonald’s sign.
Crews worked to stabilize the vehicle and extricate the driver, the only person left inside the vehicle, the Santa Monica Fire Department said.
Police said the 20-year-old driver, from Twentynine Palms, California, was “conscious, suffering minor injuries, and speaking with officers when they arrived.” He was transported to a trauma center in critical condition, according to the Fire Department.
The Jeep appeared to have broken through the wire fence on the sixth level of the parking structure, and the hood apparently crumpled from the impact.
Two other people who had been inside the Jeep managed to jump out before the vehicle plunged off the garage and were reportedly uninjured, according to the Fire Department.
It’s unclear why the vehicle was driven off the structure, according to the police. Investigators said they have not yet determined if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
City officials were assessing the structural integrity of the parking garage.