Car plummets down embankment in fiery crash off Highway 18

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — A car plummeted down an embankment off Highway 18 Monday morning, catching fire and snarling traffic in Maple Valley.

The crash, which was reported around 8 a.m., happened in the eastbound lanes just east of the 244th Avenue Southeast exit.

Thick black smoke billowed into the air after the crash. According to Puget Sound Fire, a car ended up 25 feet down an embankment where it continued to burn.

One person has life-threatening injuries.

A King County deputy who happened upon the accident assisted in getting the person out of the car but suffered burns.

The deputy suffered minor injuries but was treated and released.

At times, one lane was blocked in both directions, but the brunt of the backup was seen in eastbound traffic.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the flames.

The crash was cleared and all lanes were open by 11 a.m.