Coupeville woman lucky to be alive

Troopers investigate an accident on Highway 20 in San de Fuca in which a car struck a pole.   - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Troopers investigate an accident on Highway 20 in San de Fuca in which a car struck a pole.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A Coupeville woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries Thursday morning after she drove her car into a power pole.

At about 10:30 a.m., Judi Nagela was driving a Nissan Altima south on Highway 20. As she was traveling through the San de Fuca area, she reached down to pick something up.

She veered off the road and struck a power pole between Zylstra and Libbey roads, according to Trooper Scott Wernecke.

The collision crushed in the front of the car, but Nagela was relatively unscathed.

“She was extremely lucky,” Wernecke said, adding she was going between 45 and 50 mph and there were no signs of skid marks where the Nissan struck the pole.

Nagela was taken to Whidbey General Hospital where she was treated and released. Wernecke said she appeared to have bumps and bruises. She was wearing a seatbelt and the car’s airbags deployed.

“That’s probably what saved her life,” Wernecke said.

One lane of traffic remained open through the accident scene.

The collision caused a large crack in the power pole and utility workers were on scene to assess the damage.

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