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Accident injures 2, slows traffic

Jerry Mingo, Island County’s recycle and hazardous waste program coordinator, examines labeling on potentially hazardous materials. - Rick Levin
Jerry Mingo, Island County’s recycle and hazardous waste program coordinator, examines labeling on potentially hazardous materials.
— image credit: Rick Levin

On Monday afternoon a nasty, three-car pile-up in the northbound lane of Highway 20 near Haga Road sent three people to Whidbey General Hospital and did an estimated $10,700 in damages to the trio of automobiles involved.

Blanche Jenkins, 69, and Alice Hutchison, 64, both Oak Harbor residents, and Jaunita Siple of Libby, Montana, were all taken by ambulance for injuries sustained in the wreck.

Joann Ford, 60, of Oak Harbor and Alvin Besherse, 59, of Sedro-Woolley, were uninjured.

All five individuals were wearing their seatbelts, according to the State Patrol report. The sky was clear and the roads were dry.

The accident, which occurred just outside the Oak Harbor city limits around 4 p.m., was essentially a double rear-ender, as described by the State Patrol.

Besherse, driving a ‘96 Ford Ranger, had stopped behind another vehicle waiting to make a left-hand turn. Siple, in a ‘99 Buick Park Avenue with Jenkins as a passenger, then stopped behind Besherse’s vehicle.

Ford, driving an ‘85 Toyota pick-up, then collided into the back end of the Buick forcefully enough to push it into Besherse’s truck. Hutchison was in the car with Ford.

The Buick took the brunt of the collision, crumpling the car’s front end and sustaining an estimated $8,000 in damages. The Toyota took about $2,500 in damages. Only Besherse’s Ford pick-up was able to be driven from the scene.

Tow truck workers and EMTs worked quickly and efficiently to clear the cars from the road and attend to the injured; there were only minor traffic back-ups in the northbound lane of Highway 20, as the injured were being administered to on that side of the highway.

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