Wreck claims life of Coupeville woman

A Coupeville woman died Thursday morning as a result of a car accident at the corner of Highway 20 and Main Street in Coupeville.

At approximately 9:45 a.m, 69-year-old Marylin Kirk was driving east on South Main. When she entered the intersection, a 2004 International truck, driven by 25-year-old Lynden resident David Merk, struck Kirk’s 1987 Buick Century.

After bouncing off the delivery truck, the Buick slid into the northbound lane of Highway 20 and into the path of an older-model, blue Ford pickup. Despite attempts to avoid, the pickup ended up rear-ending the Buick, said Sergeant Jason Armstrong of the Washington State Patrol.

“Both vehicles were still moving when they collided,” Armstrong said.

He said the accident was apparently caused by Merk running a red light.

Firefighters from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue had to use cutters to free Kirk from the wreckage, said Firefighter Derek LaFontaine.

Kirk, however, could not be revived. Her next of kin has been notified.

Kirk was a Coupeville resident and had previously worked 11 years in the patient accounts department at Whidbey General Hospital, said Trish Rose, spokeswoman for the hospital.

Merk and a passenger in his truck, 22-year-old Everett resident Jonathan Van Fleet, were uninjured. The driver of the pickup, 53-year-old Coupeville resident Michael Dufek, was also uninjured. Both the truck and the pickup truck were driven away.

The intersection of Highway 20 and Main Street was closed for the remainder of the morning and into the afternoon as the State Patrol investigated the accident. During the investigation, highway traffic was diverted at Ebey Road and Terry Road.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at or call 675-6611.

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