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Retired Navy corpsman helps rescue man who drove off Carlsbad cliff

Posted at 6:26 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 13:06:08-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) -- An Oceanside man said he didn't hesitate Tuesday afternoon when he saw a driver plunge off a Carlsbad cliff.

William Schulberg tells ABC 10News he was driving with his wife to the Carlsbad strawberry fields when they saw the car drive through a guardrail, a bed of plants, and a fence before falling down the cliff.

Schulberg, retired Navy corpsman, said he and his wife called 911 and he then rushed in to help, climbing down the steep cliff.

He said others also jumped in to help and eventually there were able to get the man out safely.

"We're not heroes; we're just people that sometimes are stuck at the right place at the right time for sometimes all the wrong reasons," Schulberg said.

Schulberg's wife caught part of the rescue on her cell phone. Once police arrived, Schulberg, the officers, and good Samaritans helped hold the car back to not let it get pulled away by the waves.

"Thinking I would have to cut him out of his seat belt harness, and so I started trying to get him up and his head up out of the water and him out of the water," said Schulberg.

The driver of the SUV was eventually pulled to safety and was rushed to the hospital with possible leg, pelvis, and chest injuries. Carlsbad fire officials say distracted driving may have played a role in the crash, but it is still under investigation.