B.C. man killed in crash south of Everson

Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A British Columbia man was killed Monday evening when he crossed the centerline of Highway 9 south of Everson on a sharp curve, glanced off a fruit-picking machine and slammed into a tree.

A Washington State Patrol report on the crash said the man, who was from Chilliwack, B.C., died at the scene. His name was withheld until his family could be notified.

According to the report, the driver was headed north about 6:50 p.m. on Highway 9 at Hopewell Road, where the highway curves sharply as it takes motorists through agricultural fields and farmland near the Nooksack River.

The stretch of Highway 9 south of Hopewell Road is also called Lawrence Road.

He was wearing a seat belt, according to the crash report. His 2015 Jeep Wrangler was damaged beyond repair.

As the Jeep crossed the centerline, it stuck a 1998 Littau Harvester driven by Alijandro Santiago, 22, of Everson. Santo Vazquez Santiago, 35, of Everson, was a passenger in the harvester.

Neither were injured. Neither wore restraints, according to the report, but it was unclear whether that type of harvester has seat belts or similar restraints for operators and passengers.

The extent of the damage to the harvester was unknown.

Littau is an international manufacturer of picking machines for blueberries, red raspberries and other fruit. Red raspberries are being harvested now in many parts of Whatcom County.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty