A Clinton man died Wednesday following a two-car collision on Highway 525.
He was identified by the Washington State Patrol as Clinton resident Larry Anthony Poolman in a news release several hours after the crash. Poolman was 63.
The accident occurred about noon near the Wellington Day School. Poolman was southbound on the state route in his 1978 Chevrolet pickup truck and had just passed Crawford Road when he suffered a “medical episode,” according to the state patrol.
His vehicle swerved into the northbound lane, colliding with a 2005 Dodge Durango driven by Michael Newberry of Newcastle. Also in the car was his wife, Cindy Newberry, and their dog.
“The truck drifted into oncoming traffic and it looks like the Dodge hit the guard rail after they swerved to avoid the truck,” South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Jon Beck said.
The truck rolled off the northern shoulder of the highway and into a ditch, while the Durango came to a stop about 50 yards away in the same lane.
According to Island County Coroner Robert Bishop, Poolman was transported by ambulance to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in Coupeville where he was pronounced dead at 1:03 p.m.
The nature of Poolman’s medical episode remains unclear. Bishop said he was examined by medics at a grocery store in Bavyiew about five minutes before the collision, but that he declined treatment.
“He left the Goose driving southbound and drifted into the oncoming lane without any evasive actions on his part,” Bishop said.
An autopsy is scheduled this weekend to determine his exact cause of the death.
It was also unclear as of press time Friday whether he was injured in the crash. The state patrol noted in a press memo on the accident that Poolman was not wearing a seat belt.
The Newberrys were also transported to the hospital; South Whidbey Fire/EMS first responders described their injuries as “minor.”
The collision shut down traffic in both lanes for about one-and-a-half hours; the northbound lane remained closed for a while longer as the scene was cleared and processed by the state patrol.