James Shaw Jr. was driving along Angeles Crest Highway on Jan. 4, 2015, enjoying the ride, when he sped through a tunnel and failed to realize the roadway curved. He nearly died.
He and his 2004 Subaru Forester XT went over the cliff, and the entire thing was captured on his dashcam video. He survived.
“What happened? To put it simply, I was distracted at the one moment that required 110% focus on an unfamiliar road,” he wrote Monday, a year later.
Shaw wants others to learn from his mistakes, he said.
“This is a reminder to be safe, pay attention and KNOW THE ROAD before you try to enjoy it,” Shaw wrote. “I failed on all 3 of those accounts and it nearly cost me my life.”
View this post on Instagram
A few more feet, and I'd be dead… What happened? To put it simply, I was distracted at the one moment that required 110% focus on an unfamiliar road. I don’t ever remember seeing the road ahead until I was nearly out of the tunnel. In my mind I had assumed that it just went straight. At that point I was exiting the tunnel straight as the road curved to the left. I had no time to slam on my brakes beforehand. With the right two tires already in the shoulder, I corrected to the left and tried to follow the road. I braked softly in an effort to keep the back end from sliding out, but it did just that. I began sliding to the left, the car oversteering, rotating counter-clockwise, over the center divider. I turned the steering wheel all the way to the right, but kept sliding to the left into the turnout. It was at this moment I knew, I had fucked up. I slammed into a berm and went over the edge. It happened so fast all I can remember is everything crashing and spinning. I was confident I was going to land upside down and get crushed. I was on the world's worst roller coaster that could only end with death, or so I thought. I came to a stop, still yelling, not fully comprehending what just happened, or how far down the mountain I was and that I actually just crashed my car. Luckily, I landed on a rock wall that was part of a drainage pipe. It was the only horizontally level piece on an extremely steep sloped hill. Had I spun off a few feet before or after, I’d be dead. #Subarusavedmylife