Freeland man drifts off highway near Coupeville, ends up in hospital

Emergency personnel pull a man from a minivan that drifted off Highway 20 and crashed in nearby woods.   - Nathan Whalen photo
Emergency personnel pull a man from a minivan that drifted off Highway 20 and crashed in nearby woods.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen photo

A Freeland man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and Hospital in Seattle after crashing his car Wednesday morning on Highway 20 on Central Whidbey Island.

At approximately 11:20 a.m., Freeland resident Edward Sawyers, 74, was driving a Mercury Villager north on Highway 20 when he veered off the road just south of the intersection  near Libbey Road, went partway down an embankment and crashed into some trees.

“He just drifted off the road. I’m not sure why,” said Howard Bledsoe, who lives near Libbey Road and witnessed the accident.

He said wood and debris was still flying in the air as he drove by the scene.

Firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded. It took more than 30 minutes to extricate Sawyers from the minivan. Once pulled from the wreckage, paramedics transported him to Whidbey General Hospital. He was then airlifted to Harborview. A status on Sawyers’ condition wasn’t immediately available.

Troopers are still investigating the accident.

One lane of Highway 20 was closed while emergency personnel worked and troopers investigated.

The Wednesday morning accident took place yards aways from a location of a similar accident that occurred in May where a woman fell asleep and drifted off the roadway.


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