The normally boisterous Wilkeson handcar races immediately turned solemn Saturday afternoon when a competitor fell from a handcar and was run over, suffering fatal injuries.
Medics were on the scene in less than a minute, an emergency airlift was immediately called for and the victim who was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died.
According to Chief Alan Predmore of the Buckley Fire Department, the victim did not survive surgery.
Wilkeson boosters were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the handcar races, which honor the community’s mining and railroad history. Teams of competitors pump the handles of the old-fashioned handcars down a short length of track just a couple of blocks from the center of town.
According to media reports, the victim was 47-year-old Charity Lisherness.
Predmore said it appeared she fell from the handcar and was run over, suffering both internal and head injuries.
Emergency medical crews from the Buckley Fire Department were staffing the handcar event, as they always do, so their response time was minimal. Lisherness was transported a couple of blocks to the lawn behind Wilkeson Elementary School, where the helicopter set down.