Driver survives Chapman’s Peak plunge

The 32-year-old motorist is airlifted to hospital after being rescued from the mountainside on Monday.

Hout Bay police have confirmed that the 32-year-old motorist who plunged off Chapman’s Peak this week, was fleeing pursuing officers after an altercation with security officials at the toll gate.

It is alleged that the man had become embroiled in an argument with officials over payment of the R42 toll fee at about 5am on Monday November 28, after which the officials had called the police.

Hout Bay police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch said the man had been driving a silver Toyota Etios.

“The security at Chapman’s Peak spoke to the driver and called the SAPS. Police then followed the driver and when he noticed them behind him, he drove off Chapman’s Peak (on the Hout Bay side of the peak),” Warrant Officer Lesch said.

After a dramatic rescue effort, the man was eventually airlifted to Groote Schuur Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Groote Schuur spokesperson Myrna Freeman said the man had been discharged on Tuesday November 29 in a stable condition.

At 5.14am, NSRI Hout Bay was activated to assist police, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, Western Cape government EMS and Cape Medical Response to help with rescue operations, which caused Chapman’s Peak Drive to be closed.

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said rescuers initially were unable to determine the location of the vehicle which could not be seen over the rugged terrain and steep cliff face of Chapman’s Peak. The NSRI then chose to launch the sea rescue craft Albie Matthews.

“Two NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed from the sea rescue craft onto the shoreline where they located the vehicle about 50 metres from the water’s edge. There were no occupants in the vehicle,” Mr Lambinon said.

“During an ongoing search, a male was located by the NSRI rescue swimmers about a third of the way from the roadside. It is believed the man had been ejected from the vehicle as it rolled over the terrain and down the mountainside.”

The man, confirmed as a 32-year-old man originally from Johannesburg but now living in Cape Town, was found to be conscious and in a stable condition but suffering head injuries and cuts and bruises.

“The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was dispatched, and EMS rescue paramedics descended to the scene from the roadway using high-angle safety ropes and rigging,” Mr Lambinon said.

“The man was treated by rescue paramedics for his injuries and was in a stable condition as he was secured in a specialised stretcher and hoisted to the roadway by the helicopter.”