A 20-year-old woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries after driving her car over the edge of a steep cliff on Signal Hill in St. John’s Sunday morning, according to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. The woman remains in hospital in serious condition.

Police said they received a call from a “third party” at 7:45 a.m. that a car was driving suspiciously near Cabot Tower.  Const. Geoff Higdon told reporters Sunday afternoon that within 30 minutes, the woman had driven through a gate on the edge of the Signal Hill parking lot and proceeded to an area beyond Cabot Tower.

The woman was in a grey Toyota Echo when it went over the cliff, but she was ejected shortly after. Police said the woman was thrown 20 metres from the car.

The RNC, St. John’s Regional Fire Department and Avalon Towing all worked to remove the car from the side of the rocky cliff Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a first for us,” Platoon Chief Rick Mackey.  Despite his 30 years of service, Mackey said he couldn’t believe it when he got the call shortly after 8:30 a.m. that a car had gone over the cliff’s edge.

Dozens of spectators lined the nearby South Side Road to watch as crews hoisted the vehicle to a parking lot above. The North Head hiking trail has been closed to all foot traffic, while vehicles were diverted at the visitor’s centre. Crews consulting with Parks Canada determined it was best to remove the car as quickly as possible due to its precarious location, Mackey said. Winds on the cliff were extremely high, he added.