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Week proves deadly in Valley

UPPER VALLEY - Two men died last week after being involved in separate incidents, one in a logging accident near the winery property in Snoqualmie, while the other man died from injuries he sustained in a car accident on State Route 202 between Snoqualmie and North Bend that occurred in January.

John Clark, 43, of Craig, Alaska, was killed at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, after he was apparently struck by a tree, according to the King County Sheriff's Office. An employee of W.B. Cutting of Tacoma, he was working on Rattlesnake Ridge, near Interstate 90's Exit 27.

His body was found about 100 yards down a ravine near an old logging road by a fellow logging crew worker, who alerted authorities. Sheriff's Office deputies and aid personnel were called to the scene, and a rescue team was able to remove the body by about 7 p.m.

It's not yet clear exactly how the man died. Sgt. Greg Dymerski of the Sheriff's Office said Clark had felled one tree, which possibly struck another tree. One of those two trees hit Clark, who suffered multiple skull fractures, reported the King County Medical Examiner's Office. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death an accident.

"One of those trees hit him pretty good, and it was pretty clear that's what caused his injuries," Dymerski said.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating the accident.

An 81-year-old North Bend man was critically injured at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, when his 2000 Toyota Camry struck a CenturyTel maintenance truck on SR 202 east of Meadowbrook Way in Snoqualmie.

Published reports stated the truck had become stuck in the mud and was being assisted by another service truck and a tow truck. Vernon P. Berg was traveling west on SR 202 in his car when the CenturyTel truck freed itself and crossed the westbound lane of the highway.

Berg's car slammed into the CenturyTel truck, which was driven by Ricky W. Mitchell of North Bend. Berg was taken to Harborview Medical Center and spent the past three weeks in its intensive care unit. He died from his injuries at about 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20.

A memorial service for Berg took place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Mount Si Senior Center in North Bend. His full obituary can be found on page A6.

The Eastside Journal contributed to this report.

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