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Driver flees head-on crash leaving other driver trapped

CUSTER, Wash. — Tuesday, August 3rd, around 10:45pm, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies responded along with North Whatcom Fire & Rescue personnel to a report of an injury crash in the 1700 block of Birch Bay-Lynden Road.

WCSO Spokesperson Deb Slater told Whatcom News in an email that evidence at the scene indicated an eastbound silver Honda Accord collided with a westbound black Chevrolet Monte Carlo that had crossed into the oncoming lane. It was determined the Chevrolet driver had fled on foot before deputies arrived.

The Honda driver, a 68-year-old from Lynden, was trapped inside their vehicle with a shattered femur.

NWFR Fire Chief Jason Van der Veen told Whatcom News the crew that responded set up a protective barrier around the trapped driver and used hydraulic tools, commonly referred to as “jaws of life,” to force the door open. A crew member stayed in the car with the patient to medically monitor them as well as let them know what was happening, “as the sounds created by the extraction process can be somewhat frightening to patients.”

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After being extricated from the wreckage, the Honda driver was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center by ambulance and flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment according to Slater.

The area near the crash site was searched with a K-9 unit and the Chevrolet driver was not located.

WCSO deputies have identified a suspect and established probable cause to arrest them for hit-and-run with injury and vehicular assault.

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