"Suquamish youth seriously hurt in Monday collisionAlcohol and high speed were involved, police say."
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:52 PM
"A 17-year-old Suquamish youth suffered serious facial injuries in a two-car collision at Blakely Avenue/Baker Hill Road Monday morning.Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, police said, and the youth was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault even before he regained consciousness.Police said the suspect, behind the wheel of an early 1990s Honda Accord, was heading east up Baker Hill and ran a stop sign as he turned north onto Blakely.His vehicle was struck on the driver's side by a southbound 2001 Toyota Sequoia SUV, driven by Beth Guy, 41, of Bainbridge Island.The force of impact was such that both vehicles wound up across the ditch and nose-first in an overgrown area on the east side of the road. Both vehicles were totaled.Police fixed fault for the collision with the Suquamish youth, who a witness said had been traveling recklessly before the crash. The vehicle reportedly hit speeds of 75 mph while traveling down Baker Hill Road - although the driver did stop at the Lynwood Center intersection - then hit 65 mph going up the other side.Police said a crash-scene investigation determined that the driver went through the Blakely stop sign at 40 mph, traveling through the oncoming lane on Baker Hill in an attempt to cut the corner at speed.He wouldn't have made the corner either way, said Rob Corn, Bainbridge Police traffic officer, citing tire marks and other evidence in the intersection. He was already out of control when the collision occurred.Police impounded the vehicle, and after obtaining a search warrant, found beer and suspected drugs and paraphernalia in the trunk.Monday evening, the driver was listed in serious condition, with facial fractures. He was still breathing with the aid of a respirator, but reportedly was responsive.A passenger in the vehicle, a 21-year-old Suquamish man, was taken to Harrison Hospital, where he was treated for several fractured ribs and released.Guy was also taken to the hospital, where she was treated for a sore back and released. She was wearing a seatbelt, and the vehicle's airbags deployed on impact.Statements by a witness led police to believe the accident followed a weekend-long party, involving juveniles and adults, at a house on the Crystal Springs side of Baker Hill Road. Police had visited the residence over the weekend after a complaint by neighbors, but had not entered the premises or issued citations.Officers executed a search warrant at the home after the accident Monday, and confiscated empty alcohol containers as evidence. That case remains under investigation.Skater OKThe collision was the second involving a minor in a 48-hour period. At 3:50 p.m. Saturday, a 14-year-old Bainbridge boy was struck by a vehicle when he rollerbladed into traffic at the Sportsman Club/High School Road intersection.Witnesses said the youth was skating southbound on Sportsman Club, and failed to look both ways as he went into the intersection.He went into the path of a westbound 1999 Ford Escort driven by Shera M. Swalley, 20, of Bainbridge Island. The rollerblader collided with the vehicle's front fender, and his head went through the windshield before he was thrown into the roadway.Remarkably, police said, the youth escaped serious injury even without benefit of a helmet. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where he was treated for lacerations to the head and face and then discharged.He put (such) a dent in the hood that I'd have thought his leg would be broken, Corn said. Corn noted that under the city's new helmet ordinance, the skater should have been wearing protective headgear as he was traveling on a public roadway. He will not be issued a citation, as police are undertaking a year-long education program before the law is enforced.The investigation showed that Swalley's vehicle was traveling 35 mph at the time of the collision, and she was not at fault.There was no way she could have avoided the collision, Corn said. "