South Whidbey teenage driver high-wires car

Emergency responders evaluate a Toyota Camry that slid off the road and up the guy-wires of a power pole. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Emergency responders evaluate a Toyota Camry that slid off the road and up the guy-wires of a power pole.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

A teenage boy turned a little too fast onto Deer Lake Road on Thursday and ended up suspending his Toyota Camry on a power pole’s guy-wire.

Neither the driver, a 16-year-old Greenbank resident, nor his passenger, also a teenage boy, were injured in the crash. It did, however, cause quite a scene at the intersection of Deer Lake and Cultus Bay roads at about 1:30 p.m.

“He’s a young driver, just not used to driving in the wet pavement and tried to make the turn instead of realizing he was going too fast,” Island County Sheriff’s Deputy Bo Miller said.

Department deputies said the driver was heading south on Cultus Bay Road, a 50 mph zone, when he tried to turn left onto Deer Lake Road. The road’s slick surface and the vehicle’s speed caused the car to slide forward and up the guy-wire.

Ben Watanabe / The Record | Island County Sheriff’s Deputy Bo Miller looks up at a car that ran into a support wire for a telephone pole on Deer Lake Road in Clinton.

With the front end of the sedan suspended about six feet in the air and potentially teetering on the two inch-thick wires, the boys crawled out of the sedan’s rear doors. The 45-degree car was even an abnormal sight for Lt. Evan Tingstad, a longtime sheriff’s deputy on the South End.

“Most of the time, they flip off (the guy-wire) and they roll,” he said. “I’m glad they weren’t hurt.”

Puget Sound Energy was called and notified of the crash, which dispatched someone to inspect the scene and turn off the area’s power as a precaution for about 30 minutes.

While the deputies and towing company waited for the energy to be cut, several cars slowed down or pulled over for the drivers and passengers to take pictures.

Gary Peterson, owner-operator of Simmons Garage and Towing in Clinton, was able to guide the car off the wires by suspending the back end with the tow truck’s winch. That lifted the rear end and pulled it down the guy-wire until all four wheels were on the ground.

With the car off the wires, the Puget Sound Energy worker checked the power pole’s integrity at the base and noted the impact “didn’t even wiggle the pole.”

Deputy Miller said the boy was issued a $175 citation for driving too fast for the conditions.


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