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Woman, two children suffer minor injuries in violent crash on West Valley Road

West Valley Road remained closed for more than an hour Thursday afternoon following a single-car collision near Raven Ridge Road. Seat belts are credited with helping two children and a woman escape with only minor injuries.    - Scott Rasmussen
West Valley Road remained closed for more than an hour Thursday afternoon following a single-car collision near Raven Ridge Road. Seat belts are credited with helping two children and a woman escape with only minor injuries.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Two children and a California woman escaped a violent single-car collision Thursday on West Valley Road with only minor injuries.

The outcome could have been much different, however, had the three not been wearing seat belts. Their sedan was a mangled heap of metal after it slammed into a rock embankment, catapulted back into the road and then rolled one-and-a-half times before coming to a stop, upside down, in the opposite lane of traffic.

"I tell people all the time that seat belts save lives," said an officer at the scene. "This is a good example."

According to authorities, the three were westbound at about 3 p.m. and had just passed Raven Ridge Road when the woman became distracted by the children, who were riding in the backseat, and allowed the car to drift into the oncoming lane of traffic. She reportedly overcorrected and the sedan careened off the narrow two-lane road and into a towering embankment of solid rock.

The collision closed West Valley Road to traffic for about an hour. The woman and the two children were treated at the scene by EMTs, and then transported to the medical center for further treatment. San Juan Island EMS Director Jim Cole declined to identify their ages or elaborate on injuries.

"We have a woman and two minor-age children that were taking to the medical center with minor injuries," he said.

According to a deputy at the scene, the woman said she was from off-island and unfamiliar with the road, which is steep and bends sharply near the location of the crash. The woman appeared to have been traveling within the posted speed of 35 mph at the time of the crash, according to authorities.

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