A suicidal San Diego man drove off a cliff with his 2-year-old twin daughters in the car, plunging more than 50 feet into the water below. Shockingly, both the children and the 47-year-old man survived thanks to some quick thinking and bravery on behalf of San Diego police Officer John Wiese, Fox 5 San Diego reports.
- Police were warned that the man may try to kill himself and his daughters. “Originally, I got a call that the dad may have a gun and could try and drive off the Coronado Bridge,” Wiese said. They traced the man’s phone to the Sunset Cliffs area and officers headed over, with Wiese said to have arrived on the scene within four minutes and the whole thing was caught on camera thanks to a neighbor’s surveillance camera.
- Wiese is a true hero. “My first thought was just to jump,” Wiese, who is a K-9 trainer in the force, recalled. “But I thought if I jump and hit something, I won’t be much help. Then, I remembered I have a 100-foot leash in my car that we use for SWAT missions, and I thought if that can hold my 95-pound dog, then maybe it could hold me.” He was able to pull all three out of the vehicle and use the leash to tie around one of the girls so rescuers could pull her up to safety. A helicopter was used to lift the other girl and the father.
- The father believed he and his daughters would die. Talking to the man after the rescue, Wiese said he was shocked that anyone survived the incident. “He said, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t die,’ because he was trying to commit suicide. And then he told me the girls were actually sitting in his lap when he drove over the cliff and no one had seatbelts on,” Weise said. “I couldn’t fathom how they survived.”
- Now the father is in serious trouble. He’s being charged with two counts of attempted murder, among other charges. Meanwhile, one of the two girls has serious injuries, but thankfully both are expected to make a full recovery.
- A GoFundMe has been launched for the children to aid in their recovery. According to the family friend who created the fundraiser, the twins were at a relative’s house ahead of a planned visit with the father. They were then allegedly picked up and the father began texting the mother repeatedly about how she might not see her kids again. That’s when authorities were alerted to the situation and, thanks to quick thinking, the girls’ lives were saved.