‘It’s a miracle’: Witness describes moments before car drove over Napa cliff

Bay Area

NAPA (KRON) — It was just after 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, when avid bicyclist Charles Doyle says he watched a car vanish.

“It was very strange,” he said. “I had the feeling after it went over like ‘did I actually just see that?’”

He was headed down the windy and narrow Monticello Road just south of Wooden Valley in Napa, when he says he watched the car make a u-turn.

“But when it started going back down, it never turned to go around the corner, it just slowly drove straight over the cliff,” Doyle said.

He immediately called 911 and the CHP arrived 10 minutes later.

“We could hear her screaming,” he said. “I couldn’t understand anything she said but we knew she was alive.”

CHP says she’s lucky someone saw her go over the edge, because the foliage beneath the cliff is so thick, they couldn’t even see her car It was about 150 yards down a cliff in a heavily wooded area.

The driver has been identified as 20-year-old Napa resident Karla Hernandez-Zambrano.

CHP says her car was wedged against a tree and it took them 45 minutes to lift her to safety.

“We lifted her vertically to the helicopter through a four to six foot hole through the trees. The margin for error was very small,” an officer said.

Hernandez Zambrano was wearing her seatbelt and somehow survived with no major injuries.

“It’s quite the miracle she wasn’t critically injured. It’s a miracle that someone actually saw her go over the cliff.”

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