Vehicle plunged 300 feet down; removal may require helicopter
By Allen Payton
According to Cameron Morrison, Supervising State Park Peace Officer,
“On July 4th at around 2:47 pm we received a 9-11 call of a vehicle over the edge on Summit Road,” he said. “Three officers responded. I responded from the summit from Mt. Diablo and was the first one on scene.
From Summit Road I could see an SUV several hundred feet down the hillside and I made my way down,” Morrison continued. “When I got down to where the vehicle was located, I found a woman in her 70’s who had been ejected from the SUV.”
“We provided medical care for her. At approximately 3:30 pm San Ramon Valley Protection Fire District personnel arrived and at that time they pronounced her deceased,” he stated.
“There was nothing that was found that would indicate that there was any intoxication of any kind,” said Morrison. “We found where she left the road. You can see the tracks and right below you can see the broken brush and trees. It’s an extremely steep roadside.”
On Monday, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office identified the woman as “Julie Watson, a white female out of Danville.”
Vehicle Removal May Require Helicopter
Asked about the removal of the SUV, he responded, “We are working with her insurance agency regarding removing the vehicle. It’s about 300 feet at elevation from where it went off the road, but about 700 feet from the road. It will be very difficult for a tow truck company to have enough cable to reach.”
“We are also concerned about the resources of the park. We have a variety of sensitive species of plants. We don’t want to damage the side of the road, either,” Morrison explained. “So, we’re trying to look at getting it out with the least amount of impact on the park as possible.
“All of the roads were built back in the ‘30’s. So, the edges of the road are not engineered like normal roads. If we disturb that, we could lose the whole road in the winter,” he continued. “It’s possible it will have to be removed with a helicopter. We had the same thing happen with an airplane crash in the park a couple years ago.”