SJ teen suffers severe injuries in single-car collision

An 18-year-old San Juan Island man was flown to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries following a single-car collision, Friday, near the intersection of Bailer Hill and False Bay roads.

The 18-year-old was one of three teens traveling in a 4-door Acura sedan, driven by an 18-year-old, at the time of the crash, which occurred at about 10 p.m., about 1/4 mile west of Bailer Hill Road.

The car was traveling at a high-rate of speed when the driver lost control and, after swerving back-and-forth across the road, slammed into a tree, according to Sheriff Rob Nou.

“They were driving well in excess of the posted 25 mph speed,” said Nou, adding the preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol and possibly drugs played a role in the collision. “The one positive note in all this is that all three were wearing seat belts.”

The driver and a 17-year-old passenger, in the backseat at the time of the crash, were initially treated at the medical center in Friday Harbor. The driver was then flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham for treatment and later released. The 17-year-old passenger was released from the medical center.

Nou said that the 18-year-old in the front passenger seat ended up pinned against the dashboard when the Acura struck the tree.

The car struck the tree with such force that the tree “protruded into the front passenger seat,” he said, trapping the young man inside. It took two hours before emergency responders were able to remove the injured man from the wreckage, he said.

As of Monday, Nou said the crash remains under investigation and that no arrests have been made. He declined to identify the three young men involved in the collision.


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