Bellingham man killed in Lakeway Drive wreck

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 5, 2013 

A 21-year-old Bellingham man died early Sunday, May 5, when he lost control of his speeding car and spun into a utility pole in the Geneva area.

Ramon Garcia was eastbound on Lakeway Drive at well over the posted 35 mph speed limit when his 1994 Honda Civic crossed into the opposing lane on a curve near Lowell Avenue, a Washington State Patrol accident report said. Garcia overcorrected and hit the pole facing west on the eastbound side of Lakeway Drive. Acquaintances said he went by the name Marcus.

Force of the 2:30 a.m. collision drove the utility pole through the driver's door into the center of the two-door compact, pushing Garcia toward the passenger side and pinning him.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to free him. He was rushed by Medic One ambulance to St. Joseph hospital, where he died.

Scott Crowe, battalion chief with South Whatcom Fire Authority, said the nature of the crash complicated efforts to free Garcia from the wreckage.

"Access to the patient was extremely difficult due to the damage to the car," Crowe said Sunday. He could not comment on the nature of Garcia's injuries.

Firefighters from two engine companies used hydraulic tools to cut and pry Garcia free. Extra precautions had to be taken because gasoline leaked from the car.

Additional firefighters were required for traffic control until the road could be closed for the duration of the police investigation.

Speed was cited as a factor in the crash, and Crowe said law enforcement officers estimated Garcia was going 60 mph. There was no evidence that Garcia had been drinking or using drugs. He was wearing his seat belt.

Robert Mittendorf is a Herald copy editor and page designer. Contact him at 360-756-2805 or at robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com.

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