A Maple Falls woman came within inches of being decapitated Tuesday morning, July 10, when a large bundle of 27-foot poles went through her car's windshield and slid all the way through the back window.
Erin A. Bruns, 36, was driving her 2001 Toyota Camry westbound on Mount Baker Highway near Everson Goshen Road about 9:45 a.m. when she rear-ended a trailer loaded with long "Tipi" poles, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary.
The poles skewered the car, shattering the front and back windshields and trapping the woman inside. The rear-view mirror was impaled on the end of the poles out the back window.
Bruns was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital. One of the poles hit her in the head, Leary said.
She was initially considered to be in serious condition but was downgraded to critical Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Amy Cloud said.
In an afternoon interview, Bruns told troopers she didn't remember anything. Troopers hadn't determined why Bruns didnt see the poles.
The trailer was being hauled by a 1994 Buick Roadmaster driven by a 60-year-old man from Burton, B.C. He told investigators he had been slowing for a dump truck turning left ahead of him. He estimated he was going about 25 mph at the time. His wife, 52, was also in the Buick. They werent injured.
A red flag was attached to the back of the poles so drivers could see them better.
Troopers listed the cause of the crash as "inattention." Charges were pending.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2276.