Man charged after freak cliff crash

The damaged car halfway down the steps to Marsden beach. Pic: Robin Hunter.
The damaged car halfway down the steps to Marsden beach. Pic: Robin Hunter.

A teenager has been charged with drink driving after the car he was in plunged over cliffs at the coast

The 19-year-old, who has not been named by police, miraculously escaped with minor injuries following the early morning incident in May.

The red coloured vehicle is thought to have careered through safety barriers and rolled down a grass verge before falling side on onto the concrete steps and coming to rest.

Emergency teams cut him from the car, which jammed half way down steep pedestrian steps at Marsden Beach.

The man, who was rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary with non-life-threatening injuries, is now facing a court appearance.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “A 19-year-old man has been charged with driving a motor vehicle above the prescribed limit for alcohol.

“He has been issued with a summons to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside on a date to be confirmed.”

The rescue operation, at steps which lie at the bottom of Redwell Bank, South Shields, lasted around 45 minutes, from 6.40am on Sunday, May 13.

Two fire engines were sent from stations in Hebburn and South Shields, and teams used specialist cutting equipment to free the man.

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed the rescue operation lasted until around 7.25am.

The car stopped about 50m from the beach below.

Police had initially appealed for information from the public to help them with their inquiries.

At they time, they could confirm if they were treating the incident as a criminal act or an accident.