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Driver rescued from overturned car

FREELAND — A Clinton woman was lucky to escape serious injuries Friday afternoon after her Toyota Corolla went airborne during a dramatic crash on Highway 525.

Witnesses said Linda Beeman, 60, swerved while heading south on the highway to avoid a Subaru Legacy driven by Mary Driftmier, 84, of Langley.

Bystanders said the Subaru suddenly exited McDonald Drive onto the highway at 3:20 p.m. The streets were still wet from earlier rain, and Beeman’s vehicle went off the road as the driver tried to avoid a collision.

“The car went airborne and skidded about 50 yards and landed upside down,” said eyewitness Tom French of Freeland. “It rolled a few times before stopping. It was shocking to watch and I feared for the driver’s life.”

French opened the door to the vehicle; the woman had her seat belt on and appeared dazed but was talking.

“The belt probably saved her life,” he said.

“She was flying,” added witness Katie Christian of Freeland. “It was all so fast. One second she’s on the road and the next upside down.”

Fire District 3 personnel worked quickly to get Beeman out of her car. They took out the rear window, unbolted her seat and gently pulled her through the window and onto a waiting stretcher. She was transported to Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville for observation and released.

“She did two things right; she was driving at or below the speed limit and was wearing her seat belt,” said State Trooper Josh Lancaster.

Driftmier was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

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