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Head-on crash blocks Deception Pass Bridge

Washington State Patrol troopers and other emergency workers examine the car that struck a truck head-on May 2 on the Deception Pass Bridge. The collision, near the center of the bridge, blocked traffic in both directions, causing lengthy backups. - Nathan Whalen
Washington State Patrol troopers and other emergency workers examine the car that struck a truck head-on May 2 on the Deception Pass Bridge. The collision, near the center of the bridge, blocked traffic in both directions, causing lengthy backups.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen

A two-vehicle crash on Deception Pass Bridge backed up traffic for hours in both directions of Highway 20 last Friday morning.

Law officers said that at approximately 9:30 a.m. a late-model Ford Mustang convertible traveling off Whidbey Island apparently crossed the center line and collided with a tractor-trailer near the midspan of the bridge.

It took firefighters about five minutes to extricate the man in the car, said Marv Koorn, chief of Island County Fire District 2.

Although initially reported as a vehicle fire, neither vehicle was on fire. Koorn said the car's radiator was punctured, which caused steam to billow from the car, perhaps leading someone to believe there was a fire.

The 24-year-old man was transported to Island Hospital in Anacortes and later flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was listed in serious condition Friday afternoon.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Don Ney wouldn't speculate on the factors involved in the crash.

"It's under investigation and it's real early in the investigation," Ney said at the scene.

He added that the driver of the truck is the only witness to the crash. Other people walking on the sidewalk at the time of the crash didn't see the initial collision.

The accident blocked one lane of Highway 20. The highway was closed for about an hour when one lane was opened for alternating traffic.

The accident caused gridlock stretching miles down the road. By noon, the northbound backup reached De Graff Road.

Koorn said firefighters from Fire District 2, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and Mount Erie Fire Department responded.

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