Dad, Son, Dog Saved After SUV Goes Off Wharf

A 16-year-old boy mixed up the gas pedal with the brake and went over the side of a wharf

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 16-year-old boy confused the brake with the gas pedal and went off a wharf in Santa Cruz on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (Published Monday, Jan 28, 2013)

    A sport utility vehicle drove off the Santa Cruz Wharf and plunged into the ocean Monday morning.

    There was a 16-year-old boy, his father, and small dog inside the Toyota 4-Runner at the time of the accident.

    Officials said the 16-year-old driver mixed up the brake pedal with the gas pedal.

    At 10:30 a.m., the teen stepped on the accelerator, crashed through a fence, went zooming off the wharf and splashed into the ocean below.

    The accident happened in front of the Santa Cruz Wharf Lifeguard Headquarters so emergency crews were quick to arrive at the scene. The driver and his passenger swam out through the SUV's sunroof and side window before swimming to safety.

    The dog also saved itself by dog-paddling to shore and no one was injured. The SUV sank and emergency crews had trouble figuring out how to tow it out of the ocean.

    Divers hooked a cable from a tow truck parked on the wharf to the underwater vehicle. After a few failed attempts to lift the SUV, it was successfully lifted onto the wharf at 2:45 p.m.

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