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Driver rescued after car takes 60-foot plunge off cliff near Lake Superior

Tom Olsen | Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. - A car crashed through a guardrail, took a 60-foot plunge off a cliff, bounced off a boulder and came to rest just feet from Lake Superior early this morning, a witness on the scene said.

Ken Greshowak, who lives on the 8700 block of Congdon Boulevard, said he was leaving for work at about 7 a.m. when he noticed that the guardrail outside his house was smashed. He then noticed a seriously damaged car at the bottom of the cliff that overlooks the lake.

“I thought somebody could be down there, so I yelled, and this guy lifts head up out of window,” Greshowak said. “The adrenaline immediately started running.”

Greshowak said he immediately called 911 and took a path down the cliff to reach the car. There, he said he found the man sitting in the passenger seat wearing only a T-shirt. The man was bloodied and appeared dazed.

“I threw my coat around him and started talking with him, telling him he would be OK until the rescue crews arrived,” he said. “It only took them about 10 or 12 minutes to get there.”

Rescue crew members placed the man on a stretcher and used a rope system to pull him up the hill, Greshowak said. The car also had been removed within a few hours.

The Duluth Fire Department did not immediately return a call for more details on the incident and the man’s condition. However, Greshowak said he believes the man was just a little shaken up and cold.

“He was talking, they put blankets on him; I’m thinking he’ll be OK,” Greshowak said. “He wasn’t screaming in pain. I think cold was just his biggest enemy.”

Greshowak said it appears the man was there for at least a few hours, if not all night. With temperatures reaching double digits below zero, he said there likely weren’t many joggers out this morning who could have spotted the car from the road.


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