Angeles Crest Highway above La Canada Flintridge.

Angeles Crest Highway above La Canada Flintridge. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer / September 28, 2012)

A 50-year-old man suffered critical injuries after driving over the side of Angeles Crest Highway and falling about 500 feet Thursday night, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The man may be a La Cañada Flintridge resident, according to the Fire Department.

Another driver called 911 at 8:32 p.m. and reported seeing tail lights go over the side of the road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Charmaine Fajardo.

The incident occurred at mile marker 26.96, about a mile north of Greenridge Drive in La Cañada.

Los Angeles County firefighters from Station 82 in La Cañada located the driver by 9:20 p.m. and called in a helicopter to airlift him to Huntington Memorial Hospital by 10:30 p.m., Fajardo said.

Station 82 Capt. Brian Kane said firefighters used a rope system to help haul the man up the mountain to safety and had to extricate him from his car.

“We have a very intricate rope system we set up, so it’s like a rappel, and at night it adds a few more elements to the operation,” he said. “[The driver] was extricated without incident, and made it to the hospital.”

Kane said the accident victim was conscious, but was “oriented to his name only,” and was unable to answer questions about his city of residence and other matters.

Fajardo said the cause of the crash in under investigation.

-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

Twitter: @ValleySunDan