A 73-year-old Jefferson County PUD employee died after a single vehicle wreck near milepost 5 of state Highway 20 on Monday morning. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

A 73-year-old Jefferson County PUD employee died after a single vehicle wreck near milepost 5 of state Highway 20 on Monday morning. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

73-year-old Jefferson PUD employee killed in state Highway 20 wreck

DISCOVERY BAY — A 73-year-old Jefferson County PUD employee died Monday morning following a one-car wreck on state Highway 20.

His identity has not been released.

According to Bill Beezley, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman, first responders were called to the wreck scene at 11:24 a.m. after a westbound pickup truck drifted off the west side of the highway just before a guardrail, then traveled down an embankment and struck a tree.

The force of the impact broke off the top of the tree and brought it onto the roadway, blocking one lane at milepost 5 near Woodman Road.

Emergency responders extricated the driver and brought him to the side of the road. He was alert and talking but collapsed shortly thereafter and CPR was performed.

Airlift Northwest was called in for transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

After several minutes of CPR, the driver was not responding and the helicopter was called off.

PUD Communications Manager Will O’Donnell confirmed that a PUD employee was the driver in the wreck.

The PUD posted the following statement on Facebook on Monday: “We lost an employee to an auto accident on Highway 20 today. No one else was injured and more information will be forthcoming as we learn it and can share. Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee’s family and friends.”

The state Department of Transportation said the scene was cleared at 5:30 p.m. after being reduced to alternating traffic for much of the afternoon.

Units from Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue, Discovery Bay Fire and Rescue and Quilcene Fire & Rescue assisted with the crash.

State Patrol is investigating the wreck.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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