Head-on accident, lucky drivers

A 53-year-old Oak Harbor man is being investigated for driving under the influence in connection with a dramatic, Highway 20 accident on Fidalgo Island Monday afternoon.

Trooper Josh Lancaster with the Washington State Patrol reported that Richard Jenson was driving a Ford Taurus southbound and crossed the centerline at a curve in the highway near Deception Pass Cafe. The car struck a northbound Rodda Paint truck driven by 51-year-old Steve Harp of Sedro-Woolley.

The force of the impact sent the truck down an embankment, where it came to rest after striking a tree. A tire from the truck was left on the side of the road, yards away from the truck. The front end of the Ford was torn up.

The accident was reported at about 2:30 p.m.

Harp was shaken up, but not injured in the accident. He was on his way back to work in Burlington when he came around the curve and saw the car in his lane. He tried to take evasive action, but to no avail.

“I just held on tight to the steering wheel and prayed,” he said. “The Lord was with me today. ... I thought I bit it. I didn’t think I was going to come out of it.”

Jenson was transported to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, where he was treated and released.

Lancaster said he’s investigating Jenson for a possible DUI.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at or call 675-6611.

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