Fatal crash on Chuckanut Drive under investigation

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 1, 2014 

BOW - Troopers are still trying to piece together what happened in the moments before a Ford Escape plunged off of Chuckanut Drive Monday afternoon, March 31, killing a 6-year-old Lynden boy and seriously injuring his mother.

Just before 5 p.m., the northbound 2007 Escape driven by Kristin Conzo, 35, of Lynden, did not steer left at a hairpin curve near Oyster Creek Inn, 2190 Chuckanut Drive, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis. The Ford flipped over an embankment on the right side of the bridge and landed on its roof in the rocky creek about 40 feet below.

Zachary Dean Conzo died from his injuries. An ambulance rushed his mother to a hospital in Skagit County. From there she was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the state patrol.

She remained in serious condition in intensive care Tuesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Troopers believe the Ford had been going too fast for the horseshoe-shaped curve. That bend in the road has an advised speed of 15 mph. No specific speed estimate was available Tuesday, but Francis said troopers suspected she was going faster than 15 mph because the SUV cleared the barrier that should have halted it at slower speeds.

The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, but drugs and alcohol are not suspected. Both mother and son were wearing seat belts.

The investigation will look into whether the crash could have been caused by a mechanical issue or a medical issue.

Chuckanut Drive was blocked for about five hours for the investigation.

Conzo and her family moved to Lynden from Waltham, Mass., in 2010. She works as a director of rehabilitation at Infinity Rehab in Bellingham, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Lynden School District would not confirm whether Zachary was a student in the district.

When Zachary was born in fall 2007, his father, Kevin, started Zachary Dean's Coffee Bean organic coffee roaster, and gave the beans out at Zachary's baptism, according to the company website.

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