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Langley driver's life saved on Central Whidbey

A 77-year-old Langley woman was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after her vehicle veered off a section of Highway 20 on Central Whidbey and crashed into heavy brush.

According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Merwin, Harriet Jackson was northbound in a blue Nissan Quest minivan at about 5:20 p.m. when the accident occurred.

She was about halfway between Race and Welcher roads when Merwin said a witness traveling in a car behind her watched Jackson's vehicle slowly drift off the roadway and into thick brush.

Emergency responders were on scene within minutes and firefighters found the woman not breathing and without a pulse, according to Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin.

"When we got here she was unconscious and in respiratory distress," Hartin said.

Firefighters Cameron Hopkins, Jim Huff and Andrew Carroll, along with two unidentified paramedics from Whidbey General Hospital, began performing CPR. Hartin said they "got her back" and she was rushed to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

She was transported there rather than Whidbey General Hospital in accordance with a 2010 state law that established the Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System. It determines the appropriate care for a person who is experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

A Providence spokeswoman confirmed Friday morning that Jackson was still at the hospital and in stable condition.

Hartin credited his firefighters and the hospital's paramedics with saving Jackson's life.

The accident resulted in delays in both north and southbound traffic, as one lane of Highway 20 was shutdown for about 45 minutes.

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