Essex County OPP have charged a man with impaired driving after he drove a van off a cliff and into Lake Erie.

Officers responded to a single-vehicle collision at the end of Baldwin Road, south of County Road 50, in Essex around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Neighbours tell CTV News the van was still in the water Friday afternoon and they are becoming concerned it won't be removed over the weekend.

Police were told Thursday night that a GMC Savannah van had driven off of the cliff at that location and landed in the water on Lake Erie. 

A woman had entered the water in an attempt to check on the wellbeing of the man driver. 

Police attended the scene and maneuvered their way down the 60-foot cliff.

"The immediate response by three Essex County OPP members to enter into Lake Erie to rescue this individual is significant and speaks to their professionalism,” says Insp. Glenn Miller. “The actions by a driver in not obeying our drinking and driving laws is not only disappointing but once again placed the public and our OPP members in a dangerous situation."

Once on the beach area, police entered the water and made their way to the vehicle and driver. The water was chest deep and rising when the police reached the driver. 

Police had to provide medical care to the driver until EMS and Essex Fire arrived. Officers assisted in the removal of the driver from the vehicle. 

The driver sustained non-life threatening injuries. 

In speaking with the involved driver of the vehicle, police say the man exhibited signs of impairment and was arrested by police before being transported to hospital.

The driver of the vehicle is charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and refusing to provide breath sample.

The man's drivers' licence has been suspended and his vehicle will be impounded as per the regulations of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.