Driver Dies After Car Plunges Hundreds of Feet

Passenger survived crash at Cabrillo National Monument

By Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Oct 23, 2009  |  Updated 10:32 AM PDT
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"I Think I Cheated Satan"

Rescuers at the top of the cliff on the day of the crash.

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"I Think I Cheated Satan"

A man who survived a terrifying truck crash in Point Loma gives hospital-bed interview.
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An elderly driver badly injured in a wreck last week at Cabrillo National Monument lost his struggle to survive the crash.

Harold Reed, 93, was driving a pickup truck on the morning of Oct. 12 when it went over the edge of a parking lot at the Point Loma Landmark. Officials said the vehicle went about 400 feet down the hillside before flipping and traveling another 25 feet or so and finally coming to a rest.

Reed died Thursday at UCSD Medical Center, where he was taken by air ambulance after the crash. He had suffered multiple serious injuries in the crash.

"According to a passenger ... his friend was driving, and his friend, he said, had a bad hip, and he mistook the gas for the break," San Diego Fire Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said.

Reed's 77-year-old passenger, John Little, was able to get out of the car and managed to go about 25 feet, seeking help, while Reed was still trapped in the car. Rescuers soon reached both victims and started attempts to extricate Reed. It took them nearly an hour to get Reed out of the crumpled vehicle, according to SDFR.

"I think I cheated old Satan," Little said the day after the crash. "I mean, he was trying his best to get me, and a higher power stopped him. He just said, 'Nope, we're not ready to go.' "

An autopsy for Reed is scheduled for Friday.

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