Darting animal causes Clinton-area car crash

A power pole on Ewing Road was snapped in half Tuesday after it was hit by a delivery truck.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
A power pole on Ewing Road was snapped in half Tuesday after it was hit by a delivery truck.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

A FedEx Home Delivery driver veered off Ewing Road in Clinton and head-on into a power pole Tuesday morning.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Mike Cotton said the driver swerved to avoid striking an animal and drove off the road. That section of Ewing Road has a narrow shoulder and an embankment that leads to prairies and pastures about four feet below, with a barbwire fence marking the property line.

“It’s a desolate stretch of road,” Cotton said. Ben Watanabe / The Record | Gunnar Loveng, a technician with Puget Sound Energy, works on a power line on Ewing Road on South Whidbey Tuesday after a car accident.

The driver, a woman, was not injured in the crash, which knocked out one of the truck’s front windshields and sent spiderweb cracks through the driver’s side windshield. She did, however, have to make a quick escape after the truck struck the 45-foot tall pole, snapping it nearly in half. A live power line fell across the front of the truck, Cotton said, and she was unable to open the driver door. Instead, the driver escaped through the door window and walked out to Maxwelton Road where she met emergency responders. Cotton said getting away from the live power line was the proper thing to do in that scenario.

“She knew she saw a line,” he said of the driver.

Gunnar Loveng, a technician with Puget Sound Energy, arrived about 15 minutes after the crash and cut power to the line. He was able to temporarily suspend it about 17 feet above the roadway and planned to restore power once the truck was towed away. At some point, said Loveng, the 45-foot Class 3 tangent line cedar pole would be replaced, but he was not sure when.


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