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Accidents, stranded hikers and vehicle fires keep rangers hopping

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Events over the past two weeks have kept rangers in Mount Rainier National Park busy.

€ A 10-mile, high speed chase, involving a Kawasaki motorcycle and rangers happened July 10 on state Route 410.

After passing a ranger in a no-passing zone, the motorcycle reached speeds of 116 mph while weaving in and out of traffic and running cars off the road. After finally stopping near the north boundary of the park, the driver was taken into custody. He had outstanding felony arrest warrants from Lewis County and was transferred to the Lewis County Sheriff Office after receiving seven citations.

€ A truck with a 29-foot trailer went over the embankment near mile post 68 and landed in the outlet stream of Upper Tipsoo Lake July 9.

The truck, with a driver and passenger, swerved and hit a car that was parked along the road with the driver sleeping in it. The car was sent into oncoming traffic. The three involved were treated for minor injuries and transported to the emergency room.

As the rangers stabilized the truck's fluids, they noticed an oily sheen developing on Lower Tipsoo Lake. Teams were called in to respond to the spill, and an aquatic damage assessment is ongoing.

A heavy-duty tow truck was required to get the vehicles out of the ditch.

€ A new carburetor is believed to have caused a truck fire July 9.

The driver was coming from a gun show in Yakima, while pulling a trailer containing thousands of dollars worth of ammunition and weapons. The rangers were able to separate the trailer from the truck and save the contents, but the vehicle was a complete loss.

€ Three hikers fell into the Chenuis Creek Falls July 4.

Two were able to slide to safety, but the third became stranded on a rock slab in the middle of the torrent, halfway down the falls. Rescue units responded and extracted the victim. He was suffering from hypothermia, but had no injuries.

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