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New Obstacle At Elephant Rock

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  • New Obstacle At Elephant Rock

    The Marin IJ Reports

    A lost, fatigued driver trying to get home to Oakland took a wrong turn on Paradise Drive in Tiburon and ended up driving into San Francisco Bay on Tuesday night.

    Michael Elliott, 39, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and hypothermia after Tiburon police found his 2002 Honda CRV resting on the rocks near a closed waterfront restaurant and the pier extending to Elephant Rock. The loud crash was heard by nearby residents at about 8:40 p.m.

    “Water was three-quarters up the car. … The tide was rising and pushing his car northeast,” said Officer Mike Slobodnik. “As soon as we arrived we could see the single occupant struggling to get out.”

    Elliott climbed to the roof where he was moved to safety by Tiburon Fire Protection District rescue swimmers.

    Authorities examined Elliott at the scene and determined he was not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    “He told us he was sleepy. He spent the day hiking on Mount Tam and was looking for his way home,” said Slobodnik, who believed the driver got lost in Mill Valley while looking for the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

    Authorities have not determined how fast the car was traveling when it left the roadway, crossed a wide walking path, hit a garbage can and launched over the rocks lining the seashore.

    Slobodnick said the car got as far as 150 feet from the shore. Elliott told authorities he believed the car may have rolled, either in the air or after hitting the water.

    Members of the Tiburon fire department, Southern Marin Fire Protection District and Belvedere Police Department were also on scene.

    A tow truck with a crane was called and the car was pulled from the bay.

    Paul M. Brinich lives across the street. He heard the crash and was one of the residents to call 911.

    “Too bad the restaurant is closed,” he wrote in an email. “The diners at the Caprice would have been treated to quite a spectacle.
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