Woman injured when car sails off Saratoga Road

A driver who may have fallen asleep on Saratoga Road Friday afternoon got a trip to the hospital after her car went off the road and struck a tree.

Langley's Donna Murray, 58, was injured when she drove her car over an embankment on Saratoga Road near the intersection with Lone Lake Road at about 3:30 p.m. According to the Island County Sheriff's office, Murray's 2001 Ford Escort traveled 208 feet before hitting a tree.

Trapped in her vehicle when Fire District 3 rescue personnel arrived, Murray avoided what could have been serious head injuries thanks to an airbag that kept her from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. She was conscious while the rescuers did their work.

Sheriff's Deputy Lane Campbell said the airbag was the difference in the crash.

"It's a good thing the air bag deployed," Campbell said. "If it hadn't, she would have been seriously injured. Trees are unforgiving."

Murray was transported by ambulance to Whidbey General Hospital. Hospital spokeswoman Trish Rose said Murray was in satisfactory condition as of Monday. She was being treated for a vertebra fracture.

The Island County Sheriff's office reported that Murray told a deputy she fell asleep while driving home north on Saratoga Road. Campbell said tire marks in the gravel shoulder on Saratoga Road suggested that Murray did not hit her brakes when she went off the road -- a good indication that the driver was asleep.

Murray's Escort was a rental from Hertz Rent-A-Car according to the sheriff's office. It was a total loss.

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