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Man suffers only scratches after vehicle goes down 200 foot cliff

Firefighters responding to a report of a car that went over a cliff in Kahakuloa in West Maui found a Nissan sports utility vehicle on a flat ledge 200 feet below the road, and a 33-year-old man standing next to it in good condition.

A spokesman for the Maui Fire Department said a couple parked at a lookout on the Kahului side of Makamakaole Gulch heard loud cracking sounds of branches snapping at about 1:30 a.m. A vehicle had passed them heading north on Kahekili Highway, but they didn’t see the vehicle’s headlights on the other side of the gulch, so the couple called for help.

Police officers located a hole in the brush along a narrow, one-lane section of the road and heard someone calling for help below.

A rescue crew and a hazardous materials crew from Kahului were called in to assist in the high-angle rope rescue.

The crews rappelled down a steep slope and found a Nissan SUV on a flat ledge about 200 feet down.

A 33-year-old male from Kahakuloa was standing outside of the vehicle, and except for minor scratches, appeared in good condition. The man was the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle.

Crews brought the man up the cliff and paramedics checked him out. He declined to go to the hospital.

The man was hauled back up the cliff and transferred to paramedics at 4:08 a.m. He was checked out by medics but declined to be taken to the hospital.

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