News

Driving lesson ends badly

Emergency personnel secure 15-year-old Stephanie Bigelow to a gurney before transporting her to Whidbey General Hospital, as a precautionary measure.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Emergency personnel secure 15-year-old Stephanie Bigelow to a gurney before transporting her to Whidbey General Hospital, as a precautionary measure.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Traffic accidents can quicken the learning curve, as one Oak Harbor teen discovered Friday afternoon.

With learner’s permit freshly in hand and one driving lesson under her belt, 15-year-old Stephanie Bigelow and her father Paul took advantage of the sunny afternoon and went for a spin in the family’s Mitsubishi Eclipse after school.

But the lesson went badly as the two traveled southbound on West Beach Road. Bigelow accidentally accelerated through a turn onto Fort Nugent Road — spinning the car out of control — and slammed hood-first into the side of a one-ton Ford truck stopped at the intersection, waiting to turn onto West Beach from Fort Nugent.

Both driver and passenger appeared to escape serious injury, but paramedics took the teen to Whidbey General Hospital as a precaution because she hit her head on the steering wheel upon impact.

The air bags did not activate, which was a surprise to her father and the responding officers.

But Bigelow is just happy that his daughter is fine.

“You can replace a car, but you can’t replace a kid,” he said, adding that he should have waited until his daughter had taken another lesson or two, which would have allowed her more time to practice with a driving instructor.

Matthew Murphy, driver of the one-ton truck, was not injured.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.