After a car plummeted off a San Diego cliffside in a car being driven by a father in an apparent murder-suicide attempt, two twin girls were rescued on Saturday morning at Sunset Cliffs.
A San Diego Police Department K9 officer rescued the toddlers after witnessing the man careen over the clifftop.
Both the man’s daughters were sitting in the man’s lap at the time the man decided to plummet over the edge. A call went out suggesting the father was about to drive off the Coronado Bridge where law enforcement was able to track his phone to the nearby cliff.
K9 Officer Jonathan Wiese with the SDPD saw the trunk land on its roof.
“Literally, my heart sank. Please tell me the girls were not in the car,” Wiese said he thought to himself to the San Diego Tribune.
“I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a two-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,” Wiese said to ABC10 as rescued them.
Wiese attempted to think of a way to get down the cliff and remembered he had a 100ft leash with him. He handed one end of the rope to five other cops who had shown up to assist and jumped over the edge.
“I said, ‘Hey, hang on. I’m going,'” Wiese said to the Tribune.
Wiese was then lowered down to the rocks below and the ocean, then swam, still wearing his police uniform, towards the dad who now had the children in his arms. Amazingly, all three survived including the toddler girls who would have been killed had they been sitting in the back seat.
The girls are currently in intensive care but expected to make a full recovery.
“That’s the best news you can have,” Wiese said. “All I care about is that those girls are going to live and have a second chance at life.”
Wiese had time to speak to the dad while the pair waiting for a rescue helicopter. He decided not to leave him alone in case he attempted to end his life again. The man shared how “he was going to die and the girls were coming with him.”
“That’s probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years,” said SDPD Police Chief David Nisleit who suggested Wiese’s heroic actions saved the girls’ lives.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.