Crime

Lumber pierces windshield in Bellingham crash, almost decapitates driver

The driver of a Toyota Tacoma examines the damage from a crash that sent a load of lumber through his windshield Friday afternoon, Aug. 19, in downtown Bellingham. No one was seriously hurt.
The driver of a Toyota Tacoma examines the damage from a crash that sent a load of lumber through his windshield Friday afternoon, Aug. 19, in downtown Bellingham. No one was seriously hurt. The Bellingham Herald

A load of lumber almost decapitated a man when it was jarred loose in a crash and shot through the windshield of his truck Friday afternoon, Aug. 19.

Somehow no one was seriously hurt in the three-car crash.

Around noon the driver of a white Toyota Tacoma turned right from Magnolia Street into the right lane of a one-way street, North State, when a white Dodge Caravan braked for traffic in front of him, witnesses said.

The driver of the van, Mike DenAdel, 65, said he was listening to loud music when he heard the truck rear-end him — just a tap, he said, then a moment later a loud boom when a black Cadillac Escalade smashed into the back of the Toyota.

The sandwiched Toyota lurched forward, and a load of flat wooden boards that had been strapped to the truck’s roof rack flew as far as the front seats of the van. The wood shot through the shattered windshield of the Toyota, too, and narrowly missed the driver’s head.

That Toyota driver, who declined to give his name, wiped blood from his fingers as police and firefighters blocked North State. Otherwise he was unhurt.

“I just don’t understand how he didn’t get hit” in the head, said Katy McKay, who saw the crash from across the street at Schweinhaus Biergarten. “Everybody got really lucky today.”

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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