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Trip to Capitol State Forest doesn’t end so well

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Dec. 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
December 29, 2011 2:28 pm

I’m sure the idea of going for a ride through Capitol State Forest sounded like a good one. But for one couple, their ride on Tuesday didn’t end so well.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, the single-vehicle rollover accident could have been a lot worse. The two occupants, a man and a woman, and their dog were able to escape the vehicle without injuries shortly before it burst into flames.

This vehicle caught fire after crashing on Capitol State Forest. (Larry Raedel/Department of Natural Resources)

But department officials said this incident could be filed under “completely preventable.”

The driver was illegally four-wheeling in an area not approved for off-road use, the agency said.

“To get to this area, the driver used a closed logging road, which meant going around a blockade of tree stumps and an earthen berm in addition to a sign that said it was closed,” the agency said in a release.

“Illegal off roading brings an $87 citation under the Washington Administrative Code. There’s the towing fee – $200 or more – that the driver will owe to remove the totaled vehicle from this remote site. And then there’s the cost of the vehicle itself, which burned completely.”

The release said there was no word on whether the driver will have to reimburse the department for damages to natural resources or the cost of the Department of Ecology crew that came out to make sure leaking oil and fuel did not get into a nearby stream.

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