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Teen Rescued After Car Plunges 200 Feet

Accident off Old San Marcos Road leaves 17-year-old driver with serious injuries.

A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured Wednesday morning when the car he was driving plunged down a 200-foot embankment on Old San Marcos Road.

Emergency crews were able to rescue Daniel Hopkins, who was taken by helicopter to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, where he was treated for a broken collarbone, fractured neck and multiple cuts and abrasions, said California Highway Patrol Officer Don Clotworthy, CHP spokesman. Hopkins’ injuries were not life threatening.

“Without a doubt, the fact that Mr. Hopkins was wearing his seatbelt saved his life,” Clotworthy said.

Around 5 a.m., CHP dispatch received a call from Hopkins’ mother, who told dispatchers that her son had called her via cell phone to tell her he’d been in an accident.

CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies came to the approximate area, located on a remote winding road in the hills above Cathedral Oaks, south of San Marcos Pass, near Twin Ridge Road.

Although officers could not see the totaled Volvo S40 sedan, tangled in heavy brush 200 feet below the road, they were able to make verbal contact with Hopkins.

The ensuing search-and-rescue mission extricated Hopkins from the vehicle.

“Due to the location of the Volvo, it is not being recovered at this time,” Clotworthy said.

Officials are investigating the cause of the crash, but Clotworthy said neither alcohol nor drugs were involved.

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