Knights Ferry, CA — A 25-year-old Escalon man who was rescued from the base of “Lover’s Leap” yesterday was suicidal, according to Stanislaus County authorities.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department says the man was reportedly despondent over a recent breakup with his girlfriend. After consuming pills and alcohol, the man drove to “Lover’s Leap” and intentionally jumped off the cliff’s edge in an apparent suicide attempt.
He had previously told family members that he did not intend on ever returning home. After the man jumped over the cliff, dispatchers from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department received a call from the man’s father at first, but then a second call was received from the injured man himself who used his own cell phone to call for help.
Deputies with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene at around 1:33 am. Deputy Kirkbride located the injured man by shouting his name and then listening for the man’s response.
Deputy Kirkbride soon made his way to the man’s side, administered first aid, and helped to further stabilize the fall victim until firefighters were able to help with the rescue. The rescue attempt took hours to complete because of the rough terrain.
Two separate air ambulances tried to land in the area near the scene but their efforts were unsuccessful due to the weather. The Sheriff’s Department launched their own helicopter in an attempt to air lift the victim out through a long line. However, due to the darkness and other weather related conditions, it was deemed unsafe to continue the attempts during the nighttime hours.
Firefighters and emergency medical technicians with Oakdale Fire, Oakdale Rural Fire, Stanislaus Rural Fire and Oak Valley Ambulance Services also assisted in the nearly six-hour extraction. Cal Fire from the Calaveras/Tuolumne unit also assisted in the rescue.
The man was rushed to a Modesto-area hospital, where he is currently being treated for serious injuries.