Accident snarls bridge traffic

An apparently drunk man rolled his truck near Deception Pass Monday, bringing traffic to a near standstill.

The line of cars stretched beyond Soundview Shopper as North Whidbey Fire and Rescue crews worked to free Everett resident Patrick Carroll from his overturned Ford Ranger.

State Patrol Trooper Phil Thoma said he arrested Carroll, 38, on suspicion of driving under the influence, possession of an undisclosed amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Crews removed an open alcohol container from the truck as rescuers worked for about 20 minutes to free the man, who was taken to Whidbey General Hospital.

“It’s very lucky he didn’t take anybody else with him,” Thoma said.

Witnesses said it was only a matter of time before he crashed. Oak Harbor resident Kathy Chavez said she was following Carroll since about Sleeper Road.

“I’ve never seen anybody weave that excessively,” she said.

Chavez said that she saw Carroll nearly collide with a Krieg Construction dump truck. But it was when she saw Carroll run another car off the road that she called 911 to report him.

Law enforcement officials appeared to be able to do nothing to prevent the crash. According to radio transmissions between an Island County Sheriff’s deputy and I-COM, the county’s dispatch center, the deputy was out of position, meaning he was too far away to get there in time.

Thoma also said that he was far away from the 911 call, which Chavez said she made around DeGraff Road.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have anybody in the area,” Thoma said.

Thoma said that Carroll appeared to be weaving when he clipped the end of the wood and rock guard rail, which caused Carroll to lose control.

Oak Harbor resident Helen Lamborn said she saw the truck flip over twice before coming to rest facing the wrong direction.

“All I could see was part of his body,” she said, “the rest was pinned under his dash.”

Rescue crews needed to cut the door off the truck in order to free Carroll. Lamborn said he was yelling at the first people on scene to help.

Thoma said that Carroll appeared to be acting as if he were sleeping while crews were assessing his injuries.

Blood test results were not available as of press time, so Thoma did not know if any alcohol or drugs were in Carroll’s system at the time of the crash.

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