Oak Harbor woman escapes injury in Highway 20 crash
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
June 29, 2010 · Updated 9:35 AM
An Oak Harbor woman may have narrowly escaped serious injury Friday, June 25, when her vehicle veered off the roadway and nearly collided with a power pole.
Zita Woody, 74, was driving northbound on Highway 20 at about 3 p.m. when she lost control of her vehicle near the intersection of Miller Road, just a few miles south of Oak Harbor. Veering off the highway, Woody's vehicle, a 2004 Lexus ES 330, smashed into heavy brush just a few feet from a large telephone pole.
The Washington State Patrol officer on scene, who would only identify himself as "trooper Provoncha," said Woody was lucky that she collided with thick brush, which likely cushioned the impact, rather than colliding with the power pole.
"If she had hit that, it could have been different," Provoncha said.
Oak Harbor resident Neal Anderson, who was driving southbound on Highway 20, witnessed the accident. He said he didn't see anything that would have caused Woody to drive off the road, only that she suddenly began to drive erratically.
"I saw her swerving all over, she tried to make the turn and that was it," he said.
Anderson pulled over immediately and Woody appeared to be OK other than being shaken up, he said. She was trapped in her vehicle, however, as the heavy brush prevented the vehicle's doors from being opened.
According to Anderson, emergency responders were on scene within minutes. Responding public agencies include North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, Washington State Patrol and the Island County Sheriff's Office.
Firefighters used a chainsaw to cut away enough branches so that Woody could be removed from the vehicle. According to Provoncha, Woody seemed OK other than complaints of general neck pain. She was transported to Whidbey General Hospital as a precautionary measure.
Provoncha did cite Woody for "wheels off the roadway," which carries a $175 fine.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.