News

Two hurt in wreck

Two Oak Harbor residents were rushed to Whidbey General Hospital with serious injuries early Tuesday afternoon after their car was struck head-on by a trailer on Highway 20.

The crash shut down Highway 20 between Frostad and Sleeper roads for several hours as Washington State Patrol troopers investigated.

The State Patrol reported that 56-year-old David Ebenal was driving a 2001 Chevrolet pickup and lost control of his trailer, which fishtailed out of control for several seconds before plowing into the other car, a 2001 Dodge Stratus carrying two Oak Harbor residents. Scrap metal from the trailer, which belonged to Ebenal Construction of Bellingham, spilled onto the shoulder and into the ditch of the southbound lane.

Paramedics transported the driver of the car, 66-year-old Leroy Cook, and the passenger, 61-year-old Margaret Cook, to Whidbey General Hospital for treatment. They were both admitted into Whidbey General and were in satisfactory condition late Tuesday afternoon.

Both vehicles appeared to be traveling at the posted speed limit of 55 mph.

“He started fishtailing and hit the shoulder,” said Michelle Blyther, who was in a car directly behind the truck and trailer. “The whole trailer just went right out,” she said, gesturing to the southbound lane of Highway 20.

“They just drove right into it,” said witness Elaine Mendelsohn. “They’re fortunate it was the only car” involved.

Blyther added that one of the vehicles appeared to be leaking gas following the accident.

Blyther, Mendelsohn and her grandson Joshua immediately pulled their car over and began trying to direct traffic around the accident. Blyther called 911.

State Patrol troopers are still investigating the accident to determine whether the driver of the truck will receive a citation.

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