by: Richard Thompson Updated:
CHEHALIS, Wash. - Two couples were hunting in Pacific County Tuesday morning when one of their trucks accelerated off a cliff.
"It was very scary, very shocking," said Bob Garman, who told KIRO 7 the two pairs were slowly turning around at the end of the road when tragedy struck the group.
"All of the sudden I heard the engine rev, and in my mirrors I saw him shooting up over the brush and down the hill," Garman said.
Garman's wife Marge fought back tears as she described the moment. "All I could see was the red truck disappearing over the top. We both said, 'Oh my God,' and jumped out of the truck and ran over there, and you could see the truck tumbling over and over and over until it hit a tree down below."
The couple managed to get a cellphone signal and called 911 for help. The truck was hundreds of feet down a ravine and the driver was slipping in and out of consciousness. Marge Garman said they worked hard to keep him awake. "I told him, 'If you fall asleep, you may not wake up,'" she said.
Rescuers eventually airlifted the injured man to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The man's wife, who had just celebrated her 80th birthday, was a passenger in the truck and she did not survive.
Marge Garman said she and her husband will do all they can to support the couple's children and grandchildren. "Their kids are just going to be ripped apart, just ripped apart," she said.
The names of the couple involved in the crash have not yet been released by the Pacific County Sheriff. Harborview Medical Center told KIRO 7 that, as of Tuesday evening, the man was in critical condition.