Ferndale driver improving at Harborview after Saturday crash on Slater Road


FERNDALE - Two days after a weekend crash on Slater Road, a suspected drunken driver from Ferndale remained in a Seattle hospital but her condition had improved from critical to serious.

The driver of a Dodge Ram pickup, Catherine V. Woods, 42, of Ferndale, stopped to turn left from the eastbound lane of Slater Road onto Imhoff Road about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A Chevy Corsica driven by Betty L. Barney, 51, of Ferndale, came "flying up behind" the Dodge and slammed into the back of the truck at about the speed limit of 50 mph, said Trooper Mark Francis.

The pickup driver escaped the crash without serious injury.

But firefighters needed to cut Barney from the totaled Corsica to free her. She suffered a broken hip, broken ribs and a broken hand, Francis said.

Barney showed signs of intoxication and smelled strongly of alcohol, according to the state patrol. Troopers obtained a warrant to draw her blood to determine if she had been drinking.

After a brief stay at St. Joseph hospital, she was driven to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition. By Monday evening her condition had been upgraded to serious, a Harborview nursing supervisor said.

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