A rollover crash south of Lake Samish left one man with critical injuries and sent two other people to local hospitals over the weekend.
It could take days or weeks, however, to figure out who was behind the wheel, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The maroon 1999 Jeep Cherokee crashed around 10:05 a.m. Saturday, July 23, while speeding northwest on the 300 block of Lake Samish Road south of the lake, said WSP Sgt. Mark Francis.
The Jeep crossed the eastbound lane and rolled with such force it left gouges in the asphalt, Francis said. Then the Jeep crashed through a wire fence west of the road, and came to a rest on its top.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
“Every square inch” of the vehicle took damage, Francis said.
One of the occupants, Nathan Anthony Mationg, 22, of Bow, was ejected through one of many shattered windows. He was found unconscious with internal bleeding, and rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he remained Monday in intensive care, authorities said.
Two others in the Jeep were taken to a Skagit County hospital: Lacey Jane Breckenridge, 25, of Bow, had a broken arm and other injuries; Victor Martinez, 21, was taken to a Skagit Valley hospital with injuries that turned out to be relatively minor, according to the state patrol.
Breckenridge and Martinez were out of the Cherokee by the time troopers reached the scene. They gave conflicting stories of who had been driving, Francis said. So investigators are piecing together physical evidence to figure out who sat in what seat.
Troopers don’t believe any of the three occupants wore seat belts.
Substances found in the Jeep tested positive for heroin and cocaine, according to the state patrol. Troopers suspect those drugs may have factored into crash, but they’re awaiting the results of blood tests to confirm who, if anyone, was impaired.