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9-year-old Clinton girl killed when tree falls on car
A 9-year-old Clinton girl was killed when a tree fell on her family's Ford Explorer as they drove along Bailey Road just before 1 p.m. Sunday while on their way to a family Christmas gathering.
Tim Leonard, a passenger in the car, was injured in the accident and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The driver of the car, Julie Janeshefskie, of Clinton, was not injured. Two other passengers, Tamara Leonard, 18, of Clinton, and Wren Leoshefskie, 12, of Clinton, also escaped injury.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Janeshefskie was driving east on Bailey Road approaching Cultus Bay Road when a tree fell on her 2006 Ford Explorer at 12:46 p.m. Sunday.
Tim Leonard, 41, is a well-known metal artist who has created many of the stylistic iron pieces found across South Whidbey, such as the courtyard railings around Useless Bay Coffee Company in Langley and the gateway pieces outside Whidbey Telecom's new facility in Freeland.
State Trooper Keith Leary said the girl was riding in the back seat on the right side of the Ford Explorer, sitting next to the 12-year-old and 18-year-old, when a large-diameter tree struck the vehicle.
Leary said the tree likely fell over due to high winds.
Emergency personnel attempted to revive the girl using CPR, but were unsuccessful.
Leonard had possible head and neck injuries, but Leary said the injuries were not life-threatening.
The driver and the two other passengers were taken to Whidbey General Hospital for a medical evaluation and were later released.
Leary said it appeared a 15- to 20-foot section of a fir tree snapped off from a great height and hit the vehicle.
The section of tree hit with such force that it pushed the vehicle to the pavement and the bottom of the SUV left scrape marks on the pavement. The Ford was totaled.
Bailey Road was closed for almost three hours while emergency workers were on the scene, and an Island County public works crew responded to help clear the tree from the roadway.