Wreckage of pickup truck
The wreckage of the pickup truck off Sunset Cliffs. Courtesy OnScene.TV

More than $11,000 has been raised for future unplanned doctors visits for twin 2-year-old girls who were rescued from the ocean off Sunset Cliffs after their father allegedly drove them off a sea bluff on purpose.

About 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the toddlers’ mother made a 911 call to report that her husband, Robert Brians, 47, had taken their children without permission and had contacted her with “numerous calls and texts … clearly stating she may not see (them) again,” according to the statement on a GoFundMe.com page created Sunday on behalf of the girls.

After authorities tracked the apparently suicidal man’s pickup to the Sunset Cliffs area via cellphone signals, an officer located it on Hill Street, near Cornish Drive, according to San Diego police.

As the officer approached, the truck sped off and plunged over a 30-foot-high rocky sea bluff.

Moments later, a canine officer also responding to the emergency, 22-year police veteran Jonathan Wiese, arrived in the area.

Reaching the scene of the crash and seeing Brians’ pickup upside-down in the water, Wiese grabbed a long leash he uses for his service dog, wrapped it around his chest, gave the other end to fellow officers and rappelled down the precipice, police said.

Wiese then swam out to the foundering truck and rescued the children and Brians. Medics took all three to hospitals for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Brians was booked into county jail later that day on suspicion of two counts each of attempted murder, kidnapping and child cruelty.

The girls are hospitalized with stable vital signs, according to Colin Moore, a friend of the twins’ mother who created the GoFundMe.com page.

Wiese, who has been hailed as a hero over the last several days for his quick actions in the case, similarly sprang into action in the minutes that followed the deadly synagogue shooting in Poway 14 months ago, according to police.

Hearing a dispatch about shooting rampage at Chabad of Poway, which left a member of the congregation dead and three other people wounded, Wiese sped to the area, spotted the suspect’s car near the synagogue, pulled it over and took the alleged shooter into custody.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.