Crash injures Skagit senior; Bellingham driver unhurt


A rollover crash on the freeway south of Whatcom County Monday afternoon left a senior driver with serious injuries, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Southbound traffic had slowed on Interstate 5 near the exit to Chuckanut Drive, as a Ford Ranger pickup driven by Gene E. Clark, 79, approached in the left lane.

According to a state patrol report, Clark swerved left to avoid striking a 2012 Ford Flex in front of him at 1:20 p.m. His pickup side-swiped the SUV, overcorrected to the right, and rolled twice before coming to a rest on its wheels on the right shoulder.

Clark, of Mount Vernon, suffered injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening, said Trooper Heather Axtman, of the state patrol. An ambulance rushed him to Skagit Valley Hospital.

A 63-year-old Bellingham man driving the Ford Flex wasn’t hurt.

Troopers listed “inattention” as the suspected cause of the crash. Clark faces a citation for second-degree negligent driving.