A Tiburon-Belvedere man is alive and safe this week after a Dipsea Trail hiker heard a loud noise and some rustling near Muir Woods Road just west of Panoramic Highway on Saturday, Dec. 15, officials said.

The motorist was transported to Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae and treated for cuts and a broken thumb. More than 20 Marin County emergency personnel searched the steep terrain for the crash site and discovered him just before 5 p.m. Officials said his 2003 Toyota Sienna mini-van left the roadway and traveled 150 feet down an embankment, Marin officials said.

California Highway Patrol officers searched for skid marks and any other obvious signs of a crash, but found the vehicle upright with major front-end damage, CHP spokesperson, Sgt. Marcus Bartholomew said Monday.

CHP officials identified the motorist Monday Dec. 17 as Roger Meier, 77, of Tiburon-Belvedere.

Meier was found in the rain and was extremely cold due to the ambient weather conditions,” Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Giannini said in a press release.

The driver suffered “non life-threatening injuries,” fire officials said.

Bartholomew said the CHP received the initial call about 1:15 p.m. Saturday from a hiker, using a cell phone on the Dipsea Trail in Mill Valley.

“The caller said they heard a loud noise and some rustling in the bushes and thought there may have been a crash,” Bartholomew said.

Giannini said Marin County’s Search and Rescue personnel were critical in discovering the motorist.

Southern Marin and Mill Valley fire departments were assisted by the Marin County sheriff’s deputies.

“The volunteers from Marin SAR were a big help,” Giannini said.

The roadway was closed for more than an hour, Giannini said.

The first crew to arrive on the scene was the Throckmorton fire station. Crews had to use chain saws to cut through heavy brush to access the driver.

The motorist was secured in a rescue basket and brought back to the roadway by personnel using a rope and pulley system.

The road was wet at the time of the crash, the CHP said.

The Toyota mini-van was traveling westbound on Muir Woods Road, just west of Panoramic Highway at the time of the crash, the CHP reported.

The CHP is continuing to investigate what lead to the crash. Drugs and alcohol were not suspected, Bartholomew said.

Contact Joe Wolfcale at jwolfcale@marinscope.com.

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