4 injured, 1 critically, in 2-car accident on Noon, E. Smith roads


BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man remains in critical condition after a two-car accident that sent four people to the hospital late Saturday, Aug. 24, on Noon and E. Smith Roads north of Bellingham.

Joseph Gartrell, 22, was driving a 1992 Isuzu Amigo northbound on Noon Road at about 11 p.m. when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer traveling eastbound on E. Smith Road, according to a press release from Washington State Patrol.

Inside the TrailBlazer were driver Kelly Sweitzer, 49, and David Sweitzer, 52, of Everson, and Dylan Sweitzer, 20, and Hayley Hexom, 18, of Lynden.

Gartrell, Kelly Sweitzer, David Sweitzer and Hexom were injured and transported to St. Joseph Hospital. Dylan Sweitzer was injured but treated on scene. Every one was wearing seatbelts.

Gartrell was listed in critical condition as of 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Kelly Sweitzer was in satisfactory condition; David Sweitzer and Hayley Hexom had been treated and released.

Troopers believe Gartrell was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. After he is released from the hospital, Gartrell is expected to be charged with vehicular assault.

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