FALLBROOK, Calif. - A local star high school athlete survived a terrifying 50-foot drop in a remote area in Fallbrook.
Fallbrook High School softball star April Mattson was in high spirits last Tuesday. She was celebrating her birthday and a heated victory against Carlsbad.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Mattson's car was on Heller's Bend Road in Fallbrook when it flew off the roadway and landed at the bottom of a 50-foot embankment.
Mattson spent more than 12 hours alone and injured, suffering from broken ribs and a collapsed lung. A stranger who happened to be walking by noticed the mangled car and called 911.
10News found that even in the best circumstances, the road is tough to navigate. The speed limit around the curves is just 20 mph.
The CHP said Mattson, a gifted athlete with college scholarship offers, was not wearing her seatbelt and was driving at an extremely high rate of speed.
Her friends at Fallbrook High School are still shaken.
Friend Hannah Bahr told 10News, "She has always been really involved in sports for as long as I've known her so that's scary to hear that that happened."
The CHP says there were no skid marks and no clues. They are still trying to determine the cause. Investigators do not think this was a case of distracted driving.
Mattson does not remember anything that happened after the game. Her father told 10News that it may have been a reaction to prescription antidepressants.