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Driver, car stop in ditch after Bayview crash

Failing to look both ways a second time before turning onto Highway 525 near Bayview Road proved a costly mistake for two drivers Tuesday morning.

According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Dave Martin, Douglas Stites failed to yield to northbound traffic at about 10:20 a.m. and was struck by a Ford Econoline van driven by Brandon Zarelli.

The impact sent Stites’ Chrysler LHS into a roadside ditch across the street from Whidbey Telecom’s Bayview hub.

“This is something we see a lot of: inattention,” Martin said.

Zarelli’s van careened off the highway after hitting the sedan’s front driver side and stopped in some brush along the southbound lane.

Zarelli was not injured in the crash. Stites was walking around when South Whidbey Fire/EMS arrived, said Chief Rusty Palmer, but was stabilized with a neck brace and put on a stretcher as a precaution.

“He seemed to be doing pretty good,” Palmer said.

Stites was issued a $175 driving infraction for failing to yield the right of way. Martin said Stites pulled out of the Whidbey Telecom lot, but did not see Zarelli’s van traveling north on Highway 525. No airbags deployed in the Chrysler, and Palmer said Stites did not require medical treatment beyond the precautionary stabilization.

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