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Bellingham woman injured when car plunges 100 feet off Chuckanut Drive embankment

Washington State Patrol
Washington State Patrol

A 28-year-old Bellingham woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the car she was a passenger in hit a guardrail along Chuckanut Drive in Skagit County and plunged more than 100 feet over an embankment Tuesday evening.

Resa R. Gipson wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, according to the Washington State Patrol report. Her condition was not immediately available.

According to the report, Collin M. Lewis, a 27-year-old man from Ferndale, was driving a green 2000 Nissan Maxima southbound near milepost 12.5 on State Route 11 at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday. The car, which was traveling at a high speed, approached a curve, struck the guardrail, left the roadway and continued down the embankment.

Lewis also was injured in the accident, according to the report, and was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital for treatment. Two other passengers, a 14-year-old female and a 16-year-old male, both from Bellingham, were treated and released at the scene. Lewis and the teen passengers were wearing seat belts, according to the report.

South Whatcom Fire Authority crews assisted Skagit County crews in the rescue, Chief Dave Ralston, setting up a rope belay system to get responders down to the car that was more than 100 feet below the road and get the passengers back up.

The report listed speed as the cause of the accident. Lewis was charged with vehicular assault, first-degree driving while license restricted/suspended, felony driving under the influence and ignition interlock violation.

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