By Karen Wilkinson

Triplicate staff writer

An elderly Crescent City couple were in stable condition Thursday afternoon after driving over an embankment and nearly landing in the Smith River.

Driver George Ajimine, 84, and Kay Ajimine, 77, were headed north on U.S. Highway 199, just past Patrick Creek Lodge, when their 1995 Toyota Camry traveled off the road and over the embankment for unknown reasons, the California Highway Patrol said.

The car collided with several trees before coming to a stop on the bank of the Smith River at 9:50 a.m. Several witnesses stopped their vehicles and tried to help the Ajimines before rescuers arrived.

The Ajimines suffered cuts and bruises, the CHP said. Kay Ajimine also broke two ribs.

Del Norte County Sheriff's Search and Rescue workers and Gasquet Fire Department volunteers responded, sending the Ajimines by ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital about an hour after the crash.

The couple were wearing seat belts, but their driving speed on the narrow, winding stretch of road was unknown, according to the CHP.