Update: Island woman loses lower right leg to crash injuries; another surgery scheduled

Beth Hudson, 62, of San Juan Island is recovering at Harborview Medical Center from injuries she received in a four-car collision on Portland Fair Road late Sunday.

Hudson was in surgery Monday. Her right leg was amputated below the knee. Her left leg is "stabilized" and she is scheduled to have surgery on it Thursday, Sheriff Bill Cumming said. She has several broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a bruised pancreas, and broken bones in her right shoulder.

"The family appreciates everyone's concerns and encourages prayers for her safe and speedy recovery to these injuries, which are life-altering injuries," Cumming said.

Hudson's car had gone off the road shortly before 11 p.m. and occupants of another car stopped to help her. Hudson's daughter, Bridget, was with her, Cumming said.

A third car came over the hill, attempted to brake, and struck the second vehicle, which struck Hudson and pinned her underneath. An EMS vehicle driven by EMS Chief Jim Cole struck the third vehicle, the Sheriff’s Department reported.

Firefighters used heavy-lift jacks to lift the vehicle off Hudson, Assistant Fire Chief Brad Creesy said. She was flown to Harborview at about 10:50 p.m.

The driver of the first vehicle that crashed at the scene was arrested but later released and his car has been impounded for investigation, Cumming said.

Cumming said the cause of the crashes has not been determined, but he said icy road conditions were a factor; a front wheel of a San Juan Island fire engine went off the road at the scene and another engine used a tow chain to get the engine’s four tires back on the road. The engine sustained no damage and there were no firefighter injuries.

Creesy said a county plow and sander were in the area and went to the scene. “They really helped by putting more sand down so we could get more traction,” he said.

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