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‘Witnesses said it did not appear the cars ... touched’ in fatal crash near Ferndale

Here’s what’s causing Whatcom’s traffic fatalities

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving all play large roles in fatal crashes on Whatcom County roads.
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The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving all play large roles in fatal crashes on Whatcom County roads.

The Washington State Patrol believes an overcorrection after a failed lane change caused the the fatal crash that killed a Ferndale man Thursday afternoon on southbound Interstate 5 near Portal Way.

Michael G. Endicott, 50, died Thursday, July 25, when he lost control of his white 2002 Toyota Camry, Trooper Rocky Oliphant told The Bellingham Herald.

Endicott was alone in the Camry when it left the roadway at approximately 2:54 p.m., rolled and struck a tree with its roof, Oliphant said. Endicott’s death was confirmed on scene.

It was the third fatal collision on Whatcom County roadways over a 40-hour period since late Tuesday.

According to information Oliphant gave The Herald on Friday, July 26, witnesses told troopers that it appeared the Camry attempted to change from the right lane to the left.

“The left lane was occupied by another vehicle, so Endicott swerved back to the right, lost control and his car left the roadway and rolled,” Oliphant said. “Witnesses said it did not appear the cars actually even touched.”

Oliphant said Endicott was wearing a seat belt and impairment was not believed to have been involved.

The crash blocked the right lane of southbound I-5, and at least a mile-long backup formed, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the agency’s Twitter account. All lanes were open shortly before 5:30 p.m.

In an incident Wednesday, July 23, a 32-year-old motorcycle rider from Bellingham, identified as Chase M. Westergreen, died after the motorcycle he was riding eastbound in the 6500 block of South Pass Road left the road and struck a bank of dirt around 2:12 p.m. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Westergreen died less than 24 hours after a 32-year-old Bellingham female pedestrian who was in traffic was struck and killed on Guide Meridian near Smith Road. The pedestrian was identified as Alyssa N. Greene.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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