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Officials say two people jumped out of a Jeep before its driver took a dramatic six-story plunge from a parking garage in Santa Monica, California over the weekend.
Not only did the driver, a 20-year-old from Twentynine Palms, survive, but he was conscious and speaking to first responders on the scene, a Santa Monica Police Department press release states. The department said it responded to the parking garage a little after midnight on Saturday after someone reported that a vehicle crashed to the ground.
Based upon one officer’s investigation, “it was learned that the driver had driven his vehicle, a newer model Jeep vehicle, off the top level of” the parking garage, the press release states.
Striking photos from the scene show a smashed Jeep leaning partially against a building near a Colorado Avenue street sign. That building is located across the street from the parking garage, KTLA reports. The vehicle narrowly missed hitting the golden arches of a McDonald’s.
The Jeep drove through a wire fence up on the parking garage's top floor, a spokesperson for the Santa Monica Fire Department told Oxygen.com.
Now, police are trying to figure out exactly why the driver went off the top level.
“Three people were in the vehicle however, two were able to jump out prior to the vehicle driving off the top of the structure,” the Santa Monica Fire Department said in its own press release.
The police department said it's investigating the incident and has obtained a warrant for the driver’s blood to determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor.
The driver has been transported to a nearby hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Police said he "experienced non-visible health issues while under the care of the Santa Monica Fire Department.” As of Sunday, he was listed in stable condition.
Nobody else was injured. The incident caused “significant damage” to the top of the parking structure, and to the building that the Jeep was pictured propped against, according to the fire department.
It's unclear at this time if the driver will face any criminal charges. Both the Santa Monica Police Department and the Santa Monica Fire Department have not immediately returned Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact detectives at (310) 458-8941 or the department’s Watch Commander at (310) 458-8491.
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