A man who appeared to be having a medical emergency crashed into a Fairhaven bus stop shelter, injuring himself and a bystander, Bellingham police said.
The crash happened Tuesday around 10 a.m. just outside Chuckanut Square apartments at the intersection of 12th Street and McKenzie Avenue. A white Mazda Miata convertible was driving south on 12th Street and drifted off to the right, crashing into the shelter, police said.
The driver, a 66-year-old man, was the only person inside the car. He was unconscious and likely having a medical emergency, police said. A woman walking near the shelter suffered minor injuries after being struck by glass and parts of the shelter.
Both were taken to St. Joseph hospital. Information on their conditions was not immediately available.
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Tom O’Leary with the Bellingham Housing Authority said he was trimming hedges outside Chuckanut Square feet away from the crash, but didn’t see the impact. He said the shelter fell around the woman, and she was able to get out with the help of another bystander.
O’Leary and others turned to the driver, who was lying back in his seat and appeared to have trouble breathing. It was hard to do CPR on the man while he was in the car, so bystanders waited until police came and pulled him out, O’Leary said.
“It just happened so fast,” he added. “My thoughts are with him.”
The Whatcom Transportation Authority removed and recycled the shelter Tuesday, said Becky Kelly, a transit services analyst. WTA crews will install a bench while officials decide whether to replace the shelter with the same structure.