UPDATE : Driver rescued near Fairfax Bridge | East Pierce Fire and Rescue

Update -- 7:13 p.m.

Rescuers from five fire departments, Washington State Patrol and Pierce County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team converged on the Fairfax Bridge around 4:30 p.m. after reports of a car over the embankment. East Pierce Fire and Rescue’s Technical Rescue Team took the lead during the high-angle rope rescue to recover the driver, who was seriously injured.

The Fairfax Bridge is located 10-12 miles south of Buckley.

Washington State Patrol troopers report that the driver had attempted to turn around near the bridge on State Route 165 around 1 p.m. when his car went over the embankment and came to rest about 20-30 feet down the steep embankment. The driver attempted to climb out to the road, but lost his footing and fell approximately 100-150 feet down the ravine towards the Carbon River.

Just after 4 p.m., two off-duty law officers saw the car in the brush and stopped to investigate. They heard the man yelling for help and called 911.

The Pierce County Special Operations Rescue Team, or PCSORT, was activated to assist in the rescue. Technical rescue personnel from Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One and West Pierce Fire and Rescue joined East Pierce’s Technical Rescue Team of specially-trained firefighters who respond to extraordinary or highly-dangerous rescue situations such as building collapses, wilderness rescues, confined-space entrapments and high-angle rescues.

Carbonado Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The Technical Rescue Team brought the patient to the road, and a waiting medic unit, just after 6:30 p.m. He was transported to a landing zone where he was airlifted to a local trauma center.

Washington State Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.


Update -- 6:51 p.m. From East Pierce Fire and Rescue -- Patient successfully rescued.Transferring to medic unit to rendezvous with helicopter.

Confirming—only one patient.


Rescue workers are presently recovering a man whose car plunged to the bottom of a ravine.

At least 20 rescuers from the East Pierce and Pierce County technical rescue teams, as well as the Carbonado Fire Department, have been dispatched to the Fairfax Bridge 20 miles south of Buckley, where they are attempting a high-angle rope rescue.

Witnesses reported a car about 30 feet down the ravine at 4:20 p.m. today. The driver fell to the bottom of the ravine when he attempted to escape his vehicle.

The Fairfax Bridge crosses 250 feet above the Carbon River.

A helicopter is on standby to airlift the man to the hospital.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates