Cat distraction results in car wreck

"A woman who was distracted by her cat suffered serious injuries when her car ran off Cultus Bay Road last Tuesday.The 1986 Dodge Lancer driven by Cynthia Mackenzie, 51, of Scatchet Head, was traveling at around the speed limit at 9:30 a.m. when the cat distracted her, causing her to lose control of the car, which went part-way down a steep grade before coming to rest on a tree stump just below the road.Coincidentally, Clinton Fire Department personnel were practicing nearby, and about 10 firefighters were quickly on the scene. Still, it took some time to extricate Mackenzie from the car as she was pinned in by a collapsed steering wheel and dash area.There was a cat cage inside the car. One firefighter said the cat jumped out of the car when a window was smashed to gain access to the inside. When last seen the black cat was running into the woods trailing a 5-foot purple leash. Efforts to find the cat have failed.According to the Island County Sheriff’s Office, Mackenzie suffered lower extremity fractures and facial fractures. She was transported to Whidbey General Hospital and then transferred to Harborview in Seattle.Mackenzie, speaking with difficulty from her hospital bed Tuesday with her broken jaw wired shut, expressed concern for her missing cat. She took “Blackie” in as a stray four years ago. On the day of the accident she was returning from the vet where Blackie got his shots.On the way home Blackie didn’t want to be in the cage, Mackenzie said. “He got so scared in there,” she said.She said two friends have been looking for Blackie since the day of the wreck, but they haven’t had any luck. The wreck site is north of the intersection with Glendale Road. “He’s out there somewhere,” said Mackenzie. “Poor kitty.”"

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