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Girl injured in fall from Point Fermin cliffs was distraught

February 27, 2009 | 12:08 pm

The person injured after falling from the Point Fermin cliffs in San Pedro this week was a distraught teenage girl who was attempting to commit suicide, police said today.

Police were called to the 1000 block of Paseo Del Mar at  12:40 p.m. on Wednesday about a troubled 16-year-old girl, said LAPD Lt. John Pasquariello. (Firefighters at the scene initially reported that injured person was a 23-year-old woman.)

The teen's mother had followed the girl to the cliffs and was on the phone with 911 dispatchers during the incident, he said.

A police sergeant near the area was the first to arrive at the scene and saw that the teen had climbed over a chain-link fence. The girl then turned and leaped off the cliff as her mother and the officer watched, Pasquariello said.

"It was a very dramatic scene," he said. "The mother witnessed everything."

But the girl survived the fall and suffered a severe injury to her knee, said Pasquariello, who was among the officers who rushed to the scene. She was airlifted to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where she is being treated for her injuries.

"It was miraculous," Pasquariello said. "She must of tumbled somehow, maybe got the right slope instead of a direct fall."

Pasquariello estimated that the fall was about 80 feet. He said the girl lived close to the park and would not elaborate on what she may have been distraught over.

"It was an emotional event," Pasquariello said.

There were about 50 bystanders, including a class of college students on a field trip, who saw the girl jump from the cliff.

"We got a happy ending," he said. "She lived and she'll live a long life."

--Ruben Vives