A hit-and-run suspect picked the wrong place to turn after leaving the scene of a collision Tuesday morning at Bayview Road and Highway 525.
A high-speed impact sent a Subaru Baja and its driver through the intersection from a dead stop about 11:30 a.m.
The driver of the pickup that hit the Subaru left the scene, heading north toward Freeland. State Trooper Sgt. Bruce Maier, reading from the incident report Friday, said the suspect turned left onto Double Bluff Road, directly in front of the trooper who was responding to the accident.
“He fled from the scene but was captured minutes later,” said Maier, identifying the man as Nicholas J. Sayko, 34, of Clinton. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and hit-and-run. He was driving a 1997 Toyota Tacoma.
The wreck scene snarled traffic in each direction for about 30 minutes. The driver of the Subaru suffered minor injuries, said South Whidbey Fire/EMS Assistant Chief Paul Busch, who was on the scene. The driver, identified by the State Patrol as Judith E. Sleypan, 67, of Langley, was conscious and alert when first responders arrived.
One witness stuck around to describe the crash to Island County Deputy Darren Crownover and the Washington State Patrol. Joel Shrut was crossing the highway on his bike on Bayview Road when the crash happened behind him. The Subaru was stopped at the light when he said a truck smashed into the car, sending the Baja screeching through the intersection until it stopped just north of the intersection near a Scotch broom patch on the side of the highway.
South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Whidbey General Hospital first responders stabilized the victim on a stretcher, who was then taken to Whidbey General Hospital about 20 minutes after the impact. Trooper Maier described her injuries as “very minor.”
The force of the crash smashed in the tailgate of the dark blue Baja, a car/truck crossover vehicle. Its bumper dangled by only its passenger-side brackets.
“I couldn’t believe the amount of damage on the front of the pickup truck that drove as far as it did,” Busch said.
Maier said police didn’t have a detailed description of the hit-and-run vehicle and it was lucky the damaged pickup turned directly in front of the trooper.
“He saw him turn and got him stopped,” Maier said. “He was arrested right away.”