Santa Barbara
57° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Santa Maria
48° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
San Luis Obispo
52° F
50° F

Teen Shares Story Of Driving Off Cliff

Published On: Nov 28 2012 06:00:00 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 26 2012 09:17:26 PM CST

GOLETA, Calif. -

Dos Pueblos High School senior Thomas Dwelley drove off a cliff, spent 18 hours overnight near the crash site and lives to tell the tale. Dwelley's car is parked on the high school campus so other students can see what happens when you drive recklessly. Some students shook their heads in disbelief.

Others took pictures of the wreckage of a now unidentifiable car. "Yeah, that was a '95 Mustang convertible, '95 GT," said 17-year-old Dwelley. The night of November 2, he was driving down windy Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara. "As it was getting dark, I'm told, my memory cuts out, but I'm told that I just went around a corner and took it wrong and too fast a little bit and I just went off," he said.

He landed 200 feet down the ravine and spent the night in the open. He wasn't found until the next day when his father located him by tracking his cell phone. Then he was air lifted out. Dwelley wasn't drinking or driving or even using his cell phone. "This was not any of that. This was me just being a cocky teenager and being a little bit stupid," he said.

Dwelley was driving recklessly and going too fast around the turns. "It's crazy how nothing distracted him and he still crashed. Just goes to show how dangerous driving can be sometimes," said Cris Machuca, Dos Pueblos senior. The mangled car is parked on campus where everyone can see it and that's exactly what Dwelley wants.

"I think it's actually a great idea because there's a lot of students that I feel don't take how serious it is to put yourself behind the wheel and I guess it really opens up your eyes and this is like a consequence that could happen if you're not careful," said Connie Carachure, Dos Pueblos senior.

Dwelley pokes fun at what he calls a stupid decision by wearing a t-shirt that says, "Warning: Driving over a cliff sucks." But he didn't walk away from the crash unharmed, he had to undergo surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain. He now has a scar that will be a permanent reminder to drive safe.

"I'm just hoping that people can see that cars are things that need to be taken seriously. We need to recognize that it's not a game, it's not something we can be silly about. This is a serious matter," Dwelley said.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Who's the Boss blurb image

    Sony Pictures Television

    Where are 'Who's the Boss?' stars now?

    With Tony Danza marking his 63rd birthday on Monday, join us for a look at what he and the rest of the cast of "Who's the Boss?" are up to today.