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Posted on Dec 3, 2014

Local man dies in accident near S. Cle Elum

A 28-year-old George man died Monday morning when the pickup he was riding in near South Cle Elum rolled down an embankment.

Cesar Salazar, who was working at the time of the accident, was a well-liked George resident and volunteer firefighter with Grant County Fire District No. 3. Married with three young children, Salazar had been a volunteer firefighter since 2011.

Cesar Salazar

Cesar Salazar

“Everybody who knew him, he brightened their day,” said Kent Bacon, president of the local volunteer firefighters association.

Salazar was a “super active, very dedicated” volunteer, said firefighter Michele Talley, the recruitment and retention officer for the fire district.

“He was a rock-solid volunteer firefighter,” Talley said. “He’s going to be greatly missed in our department and in George.”

The accident happened at about 8:30 a.m., the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office reported. Salazar and the vehicle’s driver were riding in a pickup pulling a Genie lift on a flatbed trailer when it lost traction while traveling to a construction site about a mile west of South Cle Elum.  The pickup and trailer slid backward down the steep hill and over a steep bank, the sheriff’s office reported.

The vehicle’s driver was able to jump from the pickup to safety; however, Salazar, who apparently also jumped, was caught in the midst of the wreckage and pinned by the Genie lift, the sheriff’s office reported.

A fund has been set up at Washington Trust Bank in Quincy to help Salazar’s family pay for expenses. People can make donations to the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department Charity Fund. All funds go to the Salazar family.


— Staff report