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1 dead, 1 critically injured as SUV crashes off 400-foot embankment near Mt. Rainier

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Evans Creek (Photo: KOMO News)

CARBONADO, Wash. -- A man was killed and a woman was found literally clinging to life after an SUV went down an embankment near Mount Rainier on Saturday.

The crash occurred near the Mowich Lake Road entrance at the Evans Creek Off Road Vehicle Area.

A witness saw the SUV go over the embankment around 5 p.m. and called for help, according to Det. Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

Troyer said when rescuers arrived, they saw the body of a man several hundred feet down and a woman clinging to a cliff. They're not sure if the woman climbed to the cliff or had been there since the car went over, Troyer said, because the woman remains too injured to tell her story.

Troyer said they had to lower rescuers down 400 feet to reach the woman. She was eventually brought to the top, then driven in the backseat of a truck with a doctor until they could reach an ambulance in Wilkerson. She was eventually flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she remains in critical condition, Troyer said.

Troyer said the man's body was recovered Sunday. The Pierce County Medical Examiner identified him as 46-year-old Patrick Stalder of Graham.