After the plunge, Heydee Berrios, a 19-year-old woman from Union City, was sent to Jersey City Medical Center for lacerations to the head, a possible broken leg and internal injuries, said Welz.
"Although not life-threatening, her injuries are pretty serious," said Welz.
Berrios fell from the cliffs after exiting her boyfriend's car near 49th Street and Boulevard East.
According to Welz, Berrios and her boyfriend were at a party in Union City on 48th Street when an argument ensued. After the argument, at about 5 a.m. Sunday morning, the two left the party and drove near the site of the accident. At that point, Berrios reportedly left the car after what officials assume was the continuation of the argument.
Reports say the boyfriend tried to coax Berrios back in to the car but left when she refused.
According to Welz, Berrios climbed over the 5-foot stone wall on Boulevard East onto "the flat area before the drop" and rested against a tree branch that gave way.
Berrios' yelled for help when a security guard for the neighboring Port Imperial Boulevard developments heard her. Berrios, who was still conscious and injured, landed 100 feet above Port Imperial Boulevard opposite the ferry terminal
According to Welz, the security guard contacted Weehawken police who received the call at 5:21 a.m. Police officer Eric Hammer was the first to arrive with police units coming from Weehawken together with Weehawken Volunteer Ambulance units, Port Authority Police, Jersey City paramedics, and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR).
"There were about 6 to 8 people up there for the rescue," said Welz.
Security guard speaks
Michael Whisten, the supervising security guard for Port Imperial Security (guards for all residences on Port Imperial) was the first one to hear the cry for help.
Better known as "Captain Mike," Whisten recalled the events of the evening.
"I was on patrol driving around in the patrol vehicle," said Whisten, "I didn't have the music on because it's quiet at night and I'm thinking, 'If someone breaks into a car at night, I can hear it.'"
Whisten didn't hear the sounds of windows breaking though.
"I heard faint female cries and a voice. I tried figuring out where it was coming from. I went by the ferry's parking lots and crossed the street. I called my partner, Josue [Barreto] and together we followed our ears," Whisten said.
Whisten and Barreto heard a woman crying, "Please help me, somebody please help me I can't move."
Whisten remembers placing the call to Weehawken police at around 5:20 a.m. When police officer Eric Hammer arrived shortly after, he and Barreto climbed up to the cliffs to help the victim.
"When all was said and done, everyone was patting Josue on the back. They were telling us if it wasn't for us, she probably wouldn't have made it," said Whisten.
He added, "I'm very proud of Josue. It was a pleasure to have him as my partner that night."
Welz, who is also the co-director of NHRFR, explained the difficulty of the rescue.
According to Welz, rescuers put her in a rescue basket with a stretcher. Concerned with her injuries, Welz said rescuers were not able to bring her down from the cliffs manually and called on NHRFR's ladder truck to extend an 80-foot arial ladder to lift her out.
"The ladder came within 15 and 20 feet from the landing site," said Welz, adding, "Firefighters had to cut some trees so they could drop the ladder down."
After looking for his girlfriend after she left his car, Berrios' boyfriend arrived at the scene as the rescue was taking place where, according to Welz, he realized it was Berrios who fell from the cliffs.
After her safe landing, paramedics rushed her to Jersey City Medical Center.
Authorities believe alcohol may have contributed to Berrios' fall.
"We believe alcohol is involved," said Welz, adding, "We're waiting on a medical report to see how much it may have contributed."
Authorities believe the party the individuals attended may have been host to persons who were underage drinking.
"The two young people partying were potentially consuming alcohol underage," said Welz.
"We have an ongoing investigation to see who was at the party, who was drinking, and how old the people were," said Welz.
"A boyfriend and girlfriend dispute is not earth shattering," said Welz, adding, "But these are the dangers of underage drinking. Underage drinking can get you in a lot of trouble, besides from the law."
Nicolas Millan can be reached at NMillan@hudsonreporter.com.