Vehicular assault charged in accident

48-year-old Langley woman was driving in a reckless manner and caused a head-on collision on Cultus Bay Road Oct. 3, 2008, according to documents filed in Island County Superior Court.

Prosecutors charged Patricia Sylvester Feb. 10 with vehicular assault. If convicted, she could face from six months to a year in jail under the standard sentencing range.

Detective Craig Cardinal with the Washington State Patrol investigated the accident on South Whidbey. According to his report, Sylvester was driving her 1996 Acura eastbound on Cultus Bay Road at about 9:20 p.m. when she braked to avoid a car stopped for the light at the intersection with Highway 525.

Sylvester lost control of her car and drove it into the opposing lane, striking an oncoming 1991 Subaru station wagon head-on, the detective wrote. Michael Nichols, the driver of the Subaru, suffered a collapsed lung and three fractured ribs, the report states.

In addition, Nichols' dog was injured in the accident and had to be treated at a veterinary hospital.

Cardinal wrote that Sylvester's blood was drawn for testing three hours and 32 minutes after the accident. The results showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.04, which is below the legal limit of 0.08, as well as the presence of THC, the report states.

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