59-year-old Sequim woman identified as victim in fatal wreck

SEQUIM — A 59-year-old Sequim woman has been identified as the person killed late Friday morning near Discovery Bay when her car collided with a semitruck that dragged her Honda Civic 300 feet before the vehicles came to a stop, the State Patrol said Monday.

Karen D. Najera was killed after she went into a ditch while traveling eastbound on state Highway 20 near Moah Hill Road.

She tried straightening out her 1998 Honda and over-corrected before veering back into her lane, across the center line, into the westbound lane of oncoming traffic and colliding with the truck, State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said.

The wreck occurred at 10:44 a.m. about a half-mile east of U.S. Highway 101, troopers said in a collision memo.

“She was driving on the shoulder portion and it kind of caught her tire and she over-corrected and lost control,” Winger said Monday.

The 2010 Kenworth semitruck being driven by Jason Crawford, 42, of Port Townsend was pulling an empty wood chip trailer for the Port Townsend Paper Co. mill, Winger said.

Crawford was not injured, Winger said.

Further information on Najera was unavailable Monday.

After the impact, the truck traveled 300 feet down the road with the car pinned under the front portion, Winger said.

Both vehicles had “extreme damage,” Winger said. “They hit head on. It was a significant impact.”

The highway was closed for more than seven hours while the State Patrol mapped the scene and crews removed the vehicles, vehicle parts and fluids from the road.

The roadway was closed in both directions until 5:49 p.m., the state Department of Transportation said.

Alcohol or drugs were not involved, Winger said Monday.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, troopers said.

“The investigation was not complete, but it doesn’t look like charges will be levied,” Winger said.

The semi was valued at “upward of $75,000 to $100,000, I’m not really sure,” he added.

“It had a lot of damage, so I don’t really know what they can do with it.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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