UPDATE -- Driver killed in Blakely Ave. collision

One driver was killed and another injured in a two-vehicle collision on Blakely Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

David D. MacNamara, age 59, of Rhodes End Road, died as he was being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other driver, 34-year-old Susan E. Fero of Poulsbo, was taken by aid car to the hospital. Her injuries were said not to be life-threatening.

The accident was reported at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 6000 block of Blakely Avenue, south of Bucklin Hill.

Police say MacNamara was traveling toward Winslow and pulled out to pass another vehicle, into the path of an oncoming driver. The cars collided head-on.

MacNamara’s Subaru spun across the roadway and came to a rest upside down on the east shoulder. The other vehicle, a Honda CR-V, wound up in the west ditch.

The driver of the third vehicle, which MacNamara was trying to pass, either didn’t see the collision or failed to stop. That vehicle was described only as a white van, and police hoped the driver would come forward to provide more details.

Nearby residents described hearing “a big boom” when the vehicles collided.

It took some time to extricate MacNamara for transport. Crews had a delicate task freeing him from the mangled vehicle, Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said.

MacNamara was conscious as he was moved to an aid car, but succumbed to internal injuries en route.

Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, police said, and airbags deployed. There were no other passengers.

The roadway is posted 40 mph, and striped as a no-passing zone with a double-yellow center line. Fero told officers she had no time to react as MacNamara’s car appeared in front of her.

“She said all of a sudden, he was there,” Bainbridge Police Traffic Officer Rob Corn said. “She said she didn’t even know where he came from.”

Tire marks and other evidence at the scene suggested MacNamara’s vehicle was traveling “considerably faster” than that of Fero, police said, although precise speeds had not been established.

“Both of them traveled a considerable distance, post-crash,” Police Chief Bill Cooper said.

MacNamara’s wife told police her husband might have been going into Winslow to have his vehicle’s oil changed.

An autopsy was to be performed, but there was no indication at the scene that alcohol was a factor, Cooper said.

The stretch of roadway where the accident occurred is generally straight, a downhill grade with a gradual bend toward the head of the bay. One neighbor said many motorists exceed the posted speed limit as they pass his house, some ignoring the double-yellow line.

“I’ve seen ‘em pass here a lot – right here!” he said, gesturing to a roadway now strewn with vehicle debris. “It’s stupid.”

The road was closed for about three hours, as investigators took measurements and tow operators cleared what was left of the vehicles. With the concurrent closure of Lynwood Center Road for reconstruction, south-end residents were forced to take a lengthy detour through Eagledale.

It was the island’s first traffic fatality in 13 months. An August 2001 collision near the bridge claimed the lives of two motorists; driver inattention was suspected in that crash, as one vehicle veered inexplicably into the oncoming lane.

The last non-highway fatality was in November 2000, when a vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree on Lofgren Road. An autopsy showed the driver had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

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