News

Oak Harbor man hospitalized after minivan collides with semi on North Whidbey

Washington State Patrol Trooper Josh Lancaster speaks with people who heard the impact of a minivan that collided with a semi-truck on Taylor Road Monday morning. The crash sent the 77-year-old Oak Harbor driver to Island Hospital in Anacortes.  - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times
Washington State Patrol Trooper Josh Lancaster speaks with people who heard the impact of a minivan that collided with a semi-truck on Taylor Road Monday morning. The crash sent the 77-year-old Oak Harbor driver to Island Hospital in Anacortes.
— image credit: Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

An Oak Harbor man was hospitalized Monday after his minivan van collided with a semi-truck parked along the shoulder of Taylor Road.

According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Josh Lancaster, the accident happened at about 11:10 a.m. William Growney, 77, was driving northbound on Taylor Road and had just passed Whispering Pine Lane when his 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan smashed into the back of the parked semi.

The vehicle, a large boom truck with an attached trailer, belongs to Bellingham-based GTS Drywall Supply. The truck was in the process of making a delivery and was parked on the shoulder but extended into the roadway.

Although Lancaster said it’s unclear how fast Growney was driving, the impact was enough to total the van and jack the trailer to a right angle into the roadway.

“He hit hard,” Lancaster said. “If he’d had a passenger, they would have been hurting.”

Matt Hernkind, 39, lives nearby and heard the impact from his house. It was so loud, that he thought at first that a tree had fallen on his home.

“It sounded like a freight train,” he said.

First on the scene, Hernkind said the man was conscious but appeared somewhat disorientated. Lancaster said he could not confirm the extent of Growney’s injuries but that he appeared to have walked away with a possible broken wrist and scrapes to his shins.

Growney was transported to Island Hospital in Anacortes. Hospital officials confirmed that he was in stable condition.

Lancaster said the accident is still under investigation, but a lack of skid marks on the roadway may indicate that Growney didn’t see the semi-truck. A news release later that day said that Growney may be cited with driving “too fast to avoid a collision.”

According to Hernkind, that stretch of roadway has been the location of several accidents over the years. It sits on a flat area between two hills, making visibility poor for vehicles driving at 50 mph. Monday’s accident was the last straw, and he plans to petition the county to have the speed limit reduced.

“Damn it, I’m going to do it ‘cause it’s ridiculous,” Hernkind said.


View
Minivan collides with semi-truck in a larger map

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.