Man perishes after car plunges off cliff

A 52-year-old Petaluma man died when his vehicle went off state Highway 1 Friday in Sonoma County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officials are withholding the name of the man until his next of kin are notified, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Sloat said a CHP officer spotted the car about 500 feet down a cliff off state Highway 1 just north of Meyers Grade Road at about 5 p.m.

Sloat said the officer looked for a way and did some hiking to get to the car and man, but could not.

Fog prevented the use of a helicopter to get to the man Friday evening, but today a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter lowered a CHP officer down the cliff to the man’s body, which had been ejected from the car, Sloat said.

Sloat said the man was probably not wearing a seatbelt.

The reason the car went off the highway is being investigated, but speed was probably a reason, Sloat said.

He said a car will go off the road if it’s going too fast in this area of Highway 1.