Man dies after driving car off Highway 92

June 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities have determined that a man died Sunday after accidentally driving his car off of Highway 92 in San Mateo.

San Mateo County sheriff investigators, along with the CHP, responded to the scene, about 60 feet off Skyline Boulevard just south of Highway 92. Inside the car, which investigators say had been there for about two days, they found the body of a man in his 30s or 40s.

A woman taking pictures of the landscape and view from Skyline Boulevard called 911.

Investigators initially found the incident suspicious because there were no skid or brake marks to be found in the area where the car went off the road and the position of where the body was found in the car.

Around 3 p.m. Sunday, county search and rescue teams were sent to remove the body from the car, a slow-going and treacherous process because of the steep terrain and thick vegetation.

The car was wedged into a thicket of Manzanita. Investigators say it is possible the man accidentally drove the car off the road and because the doors were blocked by the thick unyielding brush surrounding the car, he tried to get out through the car's trunk and died in the attempt.

The car was lifted out of the ravine and taken to the San Mateo County sheriff's crime lab for further examination.

The San Mateo County coroner and the CHP determined that the victim died of an accident, although there will still be an autopsy performed to determine the official cause of death.

The victim has been identified as 50-year-old Gonzalo Martinez-Hernandez of East Palo Alto.


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