California Teen Survives Crash Holding onto Tree in Freezing Creek

California Teen Survives Crash Holding onto Tree in Freezing Creek

california teen survives car crash in freezing creek

January 17, 2017

Ellis Law Corporation


A deadly car crash left just one survivor.  A California college student survived a serious crash that killed her best friend by clinging to a tree in a freezing creek.  Natalie Griffin, who was in the passenger seat, was able to escape from the rapidly submerging car through a broken rear window.

Their vehicle veered off Highway 101 in Mendocino County and into the strong current of Outlet Creek.   The accident killed her classmate, Jenna Santos, whom she had tried to free from the overturned vehicle as it filled with water.  Griffin survived by holding onto a tree for 12 hours in freezing water.  She eventually swam to shore and was able to obtain assistance from a passing motorist.  She was transported by ambulance to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits for treatment of minor injuries and exposure.

Little Lake Volunteer Fire Department Swift Water Rescue responded to the scene.  The driver was extricated and pronounced dead at the scene.  Emergency crews were able to recover the submerged vehicle.  The accident remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

The highways and roads of southern California are treacherous, where excessive traffic numbers and irresponsible drivers all-too-often form a devastating combination. If you have been injured in a car accident, the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law are available to advise you as to your legal rights. All consultations are comprehensive and free of charge. We are ready and waiting to fight for justice for you and your family, and help win the compensation you deserve.  Call us at 310-641-3335.