Photo and report by Logan Hall
Joel Wolfgang narrowly averted tragedy after his car flew off of Dennison Grade Monday afternoon. Wolfgang, was uninjured after going over the side of the road and plummeting more than 50 feet down the steep embankment.
“He was kind of tailgating me so I was watching him in the rear view mirror,” said local Carol Holly who made the 911 call. “I saw the car just fly off the edge. I was scared to death when I saw that.”
Holly pulled over and flagged down a passing motorist, upper Ojai resident Collin Sage, who immediately went down the near vertical hillside to try to help. “I was on my way home from work,” said Sage. “I knew by the way Carol was waving and pointing that something was up. I jumped out and just bolted down the hill.”
Sage says he found Wolfgang still in the car with his two dogs. “He kept saying that he was alright,” said Sage, “but I could see that his hands were shaking. These guys (firefighters) got here pretty quick. I grabbed the pooch and walked up the hill.”
With the help of fire crews, Wolfgang made his way back up where he was checked out by waiting paramedics. He reported that he was uninjured and was given the ok to leave the scene.
“Everything is fine,” Wolfgang said after speaking with the California Highway Patrol officer on scene. “About halfway down, I figured I better hit the brakes. Not that the brakes did any good though. It was no big deal. I just went off the edge.”
Adamson’s Towing Company was able to winch the BMW from the side of the cliff relatively unscathed. After checking out his car and signing some papers, Wolfgang loaded up his two dogs into the tattered and dirty, but otherwise fully functional BMW and drove off. He said he needed to look for his third dog that had run into the woods after the crash.
“I’ve been on a lot of calls up here when cars go off the edge,” said Adamson’s driver Gary Ferguson as Wolfgang drove off down the highway, “but I’ve never seen anything like that.”