On Christmas Day, a local driver almost decorated a tree – with her car.
AJ Kind was on her way to pick up a friend when she swerved from hitting a deer and crashed on the side of a San Juan Island road. Kind was heading eastbound on Egg Lake Road to give an elderly islander, who doesn’t drive, a lift to a holiday celebration. Kind’s Jeep Liberty went off the street, hit an embankment, rolled twice and landed upside down in the woods. Kind, who was alone in the car, had no injuries – a true Christmas miracle.
“It’s totally amazing that I walked out without a scratch on me,” she said.
San Juan County Undersheriff Zac Reimer said the accident was reported at 3:41 p.m., Dec. 25, and no charges will be filed. Reimer said he’s seen this kind of good luck before.
“Sometimes you look at a collision and wonder how they got out alive, and sometimes there is very little damage to a car and they wind up being flown to Harborview [Medical Center],” said Reimer. “I’ve seen both spectrums in my career.”
When the car finished rolling, Kind found herself upside down, hanging from her seat belt. She exited through the passenger window and, in about 10 minutes, two women pulled over and called the sheriff’s office.
In the end, Kind still made it to Christmas dinner at her friend Eugene Cuomo’s home. Even though she walked away injury-free, her Jeep was totaled. To help her pay for a new car, Cuomo started a fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/christmas-crash.
In the new year, Kind warns drivers to be cautious.
“It’s really important for people to pay attention when going on those curvy roads,” she said. “It could happen to anyone. I was just blown away that it happened to me.”