DISCOVERY BAY – A 42-year-old Silverdale man was killed Monday when the car he was driving on U.S. Highway 101 reportedly veered across the centerline and crashed into an oncoming car.
William James Hibbs, a petty officer assigned to Naval Base Kitsap, became Jefferson County’s first car crash fatality of 2007.
Hibbs died at the scene of the head-on crash about a mile east of Discovery Bay on Highway 101 near East Uncas Road.
The driver of the other vehicle, Deborah Louise Clevenger, 43, of Port Angeles, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
She was reported in satisfactory condition Monday night.
Traffic was blocked for more than four hours while emergency responders from Jefferson County Fire District No. 2 (Quilcene) and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office attended to the victims.
State Patrol Trooper Jason Fallon, who investigated the crash, reported that Hibbs was driving a 1979 Chevrolet Citation four-door northbound on Highway 101 when the car crossed the centerline.
Hibbs’ car struck a 1997 Ford pickup truck driven by Clevenger.
Clevenger sustained neck, leg and back injuries, the State Patrol said.
Both the car and the truck went off the northbound side of the highway.
Emergency responders had to cut off the roof and doors of the Chevrolet to remove Hibbs’ body.
Although Hibbs’ car crossed the centerline, the cause of the crash was under investigation, according to Fallon’s report.
The 3:28 p.m. crash came barely a week after two people were injured, one seriously, in another head-on collision about two miles west, near the Discovery Bay Railroad Park.
A 58-year-old Port Townsend woman, Jean Suzette Baker, is recovering from injuries sustained in that crash.
She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and was reported in satisfactory condition Monday night by a hospital spokeswoman.
Monday’s death was the second this year on the streets and highways of the North Olympic Peninsula – and the first on its main highway, U.S. 101.
The other death occurred Jan. 21 when a pickup truck struck a Port Angeles woman, Nancy Dunder, as she was in a crosswalk at Eighth and C streets in Port Angeles.