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Exeter man rescued after car plunges 50 metres down cliff

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 02, 2014

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Scene of the rescue in Dawlish Warren

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An elderly man from Exeter has had a miraculous escape after his car plunged 70 feet in front of stunned onlookers.

Emergency services were called to the scene close to the Mount Pleasant Inn, Dawlish Warren, just after 2.30pm today. (Sunday)

Police, fire, ambulance and coastguard rescue teams were all dispatched.

The casualty, a 70-year-old, is believed to have escaped with just minor injuries after plunging in his car from a pub car park on to land below.

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Shocked pub goers watched in disbelief as the car, an automatic grey BMW, smashed through fencing – just inches from a propane gas cylinder holder - over the bank and ended up just feet away from empty holiday properties.

The Devon Air Ambulance was called and after 45 mins the man, believed to be from Exeter, was recovered from the car and airlifted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

His shocked wife was led down to the scene while he was checked over by paramedics.

It is believed she was in the car park waiting to get into the car before it plunged through the railings.

Dawlish Station commander Dave Williams said: “He was very, very lucky.

"It was also lucky that nobody was walking down through the bank when the car came over. It looked as if it flew through the air for the first 20 or so feet and then slid down to the ground. It looks like he has minor injuries, an eye injury and a scratch to his head. Other than that he is ok and talking.”

Fifteen firefighters were called to the scene along with police and ambulance crews

Pub manager Craig Timms said: “ I found out what happened when one of the customers said to me ‘Was that a car?’”

Onlookers praised the skills of the Devon Air Ambulance pilot for landing on the small strip of land near to the vehicle.

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