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Is this speed limit too high?

Island County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Todd, right, photographs the car involved in an automobile/bicycle collision Sunday on Maxwelton and Campbell roads. Thomas M. Patrick, 11, who was riding the bicycle, was flown to Harborview Medical Center with massive head trauma. - Jennifer Conway / staff photo
Island County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Todd, right, photographs the car involved in an automobile/bicycle collision Sunday on Maxwelton and Campbell roads. Thomas M. Patrick, 11, who was riding the bicycle, was flown to Harborview Medical Center with massive head trauma.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway / staff photo

An 11-year-old Langley boy, Thomas M. Patrick, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center Sunday after he rode his bicycle into the path of a oncoming car.

At approximately 4:15 p.m., Patrick and a friend — who was about 20 feet behind him on another bicycle — were riding west on Campbell Road, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Bruce Maier. The trooper said Patrick entered the intersection of Campbell and Maxwelton roads without stopping at the stop sign at the end of Campbell Road. That is where he was struck.

The 17-year-old Clinton driver whose car hit the boy — identified as Jeff W. Kalvelage — was northbound on Maxwelton Road, traveling below the posted 50 mph speed limit, according to Maier. He said Kalvelage had no time to react before hitting Patrick with his 1993 Ford Escort. Patrick was struck by the front of the vehicle, hit the hood, smashed in the windshield and front section of the roof and then was thrown approximately 50 feet in front of where the car stopped.

“The kid in the car had no time to do anything but lock his brakes up,” said Maier.

Maier said Patrick, who was wearing a helmet, was semi-conscious when he was transported to South Whidbey High School to be flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He suffered massive head trauma, a broken collarbone and several cracked ribs.

The helmet made the difference in the crash, according to Trooper Maier.

“If his life is saved I’m sure that’s what did it,” he said.

The accident was troubling to a number of people living near the intersection. Janann Cohig-Jones, who has a home on Drummuir Road, questioned the logic having a 50 mph speed limit on that section of road. She noted the speed limited is 35 mph near the highway and near Maxwelton Beach.

During the past few years, Cohig-Jones has seen seven car accidents on her stretch of Maxwelton. Several cars have landed in her yard. She said it is time for Island County to lower the speed limit to give drivers more time to react to dangerous situations.

“We’ve had so many accidents on this little spot,” she said.

As of Monday, Patrick was listed in critical but stable condition at Harborview Medical Center.

Trooper Maier said he expects the patrol will not issue any citations in relation to the accident.

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