Ortega Highway: Driver Rescued after Plunging 400 Feet Off the Road Tuesday

Rush Hour Traffic Ground to a Halt as Helicopters were Called in to make the Rescue

A lucky motorist was rescued Tuesday afternoon by several helicopters after sliding down a steep embankment just west of Lake Elsinore on the Ortega Highway.

The accident happened about 4:15 pm on the eastbound side of Highway 74, just below the Lookout Roadhouse turnoff.

CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies closed down both sides of the busy highway at 5:25 pm. This action stopped rush-hour traffic between South Main Divide Road and Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore.

Riverside County Fire Department crews coordinated with a sheriff’s and a Cal Fire helicopter crew to extract the victim who had plunged 400 feet below the highway.

The victim was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment. Rescue personnel said that he was treated for moderate injuries. The driver’s name was not released.

The California Highway Patrol reopened the Highway at 6:30.