Two dead in excavating joyride near Wilkeson

Staff writerMay 30, 2014 

Two people were killed Thursday night after a trio drank at a bar and then took a ride on an excavator at a logging site near Wilkeson, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

A man and woman, both 22, died in the accident. Search and rescue crews are at the scene Friday morning trying to free the bodies from the wreckage.

The driver, a 35-year-old man from Carson, Or., was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He is expected to live.

The crash happened on a gravel road about 12 miles above Wilkeson near a logging site. Workers building a road shut down the operation for the night Thursday and then at least one man went to have a few drinks at a local bar, officials said.

“The guy met this woman and bar drinking beer, told them what he does and took them back up the mountain to go joyriding in an excavator,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

During the ride, the man accidentally drove the excavator down a steep embankment. He was able to jump off but the man and woman he met at the bar remained inside as the heavy machinery tumbled down the hill.

The driver was able to walk back to his car and drive down the hill to seek help from a resident on Railroad Avenue. The resident called 911.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. They have not been identified.

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