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Dangerous Zylstra Road curve claims another crash

Washington State Patrol trooper Tim Yzaguirre escorts an Oak Harbor woman to his vehicle after she missed a sharp curve on Zylstra Road in her vehicle and collided with a fence. - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times
Washington State Patrol trooper Tim Yzaguirre escorts an Oak Harbor woman to his vehicle after she missed a sharp curve on Zylstra Road in her vehicle and collided with a fence.
— image credit: Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

A bend on Zylstra Road notorious for bad accidents has once again resulted in the dispatch of police and emergency responders.

At 6:15 p.m. Thursday evening, a 50-year-old Oak Harbor woman was traveling northbound on Zylstra in a 1995 white Chevrolet Camaro adorned with black racing strips when she failed to negotiate the 90-degree curve near Nubian Way, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Tim Yzaguirre.

Her vehicle collided with pile of rocks before smashing through a wooden fence and coming to rest near a turkey pen at Rock-n-Horse Farm. Yzaguirre said alcohol was a factor in the accident but that there was not enough information to know just how fast the woman was traveling.

"She didn't lay any brakes down," Yzaguirre said. "To fast is all I can tell you."

Rock-n-Horse Farm owner Rodger Jordan was working nearby and witnessed the accident. He said he heard the car begin to slide and looked up to see the vehicle flying "end over end" through the air.

"When it hit the rocks, it just went airborne," Jordan said.

Another witness, who asked not to be identified, said she also observed the accident. She was just pulling into her driveway when she saw the Camaro "flipping sideways" through the air.

Jordan was not happy about the incident. This corner has been the location of numerous bad accidents over the years, including several fatalities. Residents have long been asking for the county to address the problem but nothing has been done, he said.

"We've asked for 15 years why they can't put in a guardrail," Jordan said.

At least one Island County Sheriff's deputy that responded to the crash said that a guardrail along the corner would have reduced the severity of the accident.

The deaths that have occurred are heartbreaking, said Rodger, and the property damage is also frustrating. In one fatal crash, a vehicle plowed through a work shed. Thursday's accident resulted in the destruction of 20 feet of cedar planked fence. It's not only expensive, but it's a lot of work to fix.

"They haul the car off but I'm left with the mess to clean up," Rodger said.

According to Yzaguirre, the driver was not injured in the accident. However, she was arrested for suspicion of DUI following a field sobriety and a mechanical breath test. DUI is a misdemeanor offense.

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