March 15, 1999
A storm drain vacuuming truck was heading up the east end of Novelty Hill Road at around 5 p.m. Friday when it lost its gears and brakes and rolled backwards off the roadside down a very steep hillside above the Snoqualmie Valley.
The driver was only slightly injured despite the extensive damage to his rig and especially the cab. Towing crews reported that several attempts to retrieve the truck had been made Friday night, but after several cables violently snapped, the effort was put off until daylight on Saturday.
Three tow trucks were hooked onto the wreckage, but with each few inches the truck moved up the hillside, the tow trucks were losing feet as they slid backwards. The tow trucks had to be repositioned several times to get the truck up the hill, while a half-dozen county road crew personnel waited for the truck to be removed before their repairs to the road and guardrail could begin.
Novelty Hill Road remained closed through the entire Friday night commute on into Saturday and was not expected to be reopened until late Saturday or Sunday morning.
One worker at the scene said it was very fortunate that no one was directly behind the truck when it slid backwards off the road during the busy Friday night commute. Considerable damage was done to trees on the hillside, the guardrail, and the roadway.