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Woman hurt in crash with Ferndale police officer ‘has a very long road ahead of her’

A Ferndale police officer responding to a call in a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe drove through a red light, according to a Washington State Patrol press release, resulting in a two-car collision at Main Street and Barrett Road in Ferndale Thursday, April 11.
A Ferndale police officer responding to a call in a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe drove through a red light, according to a Washington State Patrol press release, resulting in a two-car collision at Main Street and Barrett Road in Ferndale Thursday, April 11. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

The 64-year-old Ferndale woman who was injured and airlifted to Seattle following Thursday’s collision involving a police officer who reportedly ran a red light continues to recover after having five surgeries in four days, according to family members.

A GoFundMe.com page set up by niece Shaysee Ewing Vanderyacht to help ease Teresa L. Thompson’s financial burden after the crash has raised more than $4,400 toward a $5,000 goal. A donation account also has been set up at Industrial Credit Union in daughter Stefanie Weis’ name.

According to the post, Thompson suffered a broken pelvis, which caused several internal injuries. She also had other broken bones in her arms and legs, four small spinal fractures and a broken rib that injured a lung.

Weis told The Bellingham Herald that her mom had five surgeries to fix seven injuries in four days and that she “was in surgery more than she was out for those four days.” Now that the surgeries are complete, Weis said medical staff is working to get Thompson off a ventilator while maintaining her vitals and controlling her pain.

“I have not been given any indication of when she will be leaving the ICU, let alone the hospital,” Weis told The Herald. “She has a very long road ahead of her.”

Washington State Patrol detectives, meanwhile, are seeking witnesses to Thursday’s collision. According to a State Patrol release, “detectives are examining all aspects that lead to this collision and are seeking additional witnesses that may have information surrounding this collision.”

Anyone with information on the accident that occurred just before noon at the intersection of Main Street and Barrett Road is asked to email or call Detective Dan Comnick at Daniel.Comnick@wsp.wa.gov or 360-757-2008.

As previously reported by The Bellingham Herald, Ferndale police officer William Hatchet was eastbound on Main Street in a Ferndale Police Department 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe when a light at the intersection turned red. Hatchet failed to yield the right of way as Thompson was turning her Subaru Impreza left onto Main and the two cars collided, according to the State Patrol.

Trooper Heather Axtman told The Herald Tuesday she could not comment any further until the investigation is complete about whether the officer would be cited in the collision, but on Friday told The Herald, “Generally, unless we can determine recklessness there’s not criminal charges, even when it involves a regular citizen.”

Ferndale spokesperson Riley Sweeney told The Herald that until the State Patrol investigation is complete, the city could not comment on whether Hatchett’s lights and sirens were on at the time of the collision, the speed he was traveling at, whether Hatchett had returned to work or might face discipline or the city’s liability in the collision.

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