A car with the family dog inside it rolled over the edge of the caldera at Crater Lake National Park Saturday evening and plunged 1,000 feet, landing in the lake.
The dog survived the fall, and car's engine, transmission and drive train were scattered along the wall of the caldera, park officials said.
The car, a Volkswagen Passat, belonged to an unnamed Ashland couple, and an investigation determined that the driver did not set the car's emergency brake, park officials said.
Park information officer Marsha McCabe said the incident was not only unusual but possibly a first.
“If it has happened before, it's been a very long time,” she said. “We're trying to research that.”
The accident happened at the North Junction Scenic Overlook, and the debris remains where it fell. Park officials say cleanup and recovery of the couple's belongings and the car parts will be challenging because of steep elevations, loose rock on the slopes and limited access.
- Staff reports