KINGSTON — A Kingston community doctor was killed in a six-vehicle collision on the two-lane Hood Canal Bridge Thursday, May 17.
The wreck closed the bridge for eight hours beginning at about 5 p.m., the State Patrol said.
Dr. Debra S. Clyde, 65, of Port Ludlow was dead at the scene after her vehicle was hit head-on, State Patrol spokeswoman Krista Hand said in a collision memo Friday.
Clyde had recently moved to Port Ludlow and worked as a family practice physician in Kingston, her husband, Dave Clyde, told KOMO News. He said his wife of 46 years was “very intelligent” and relished complicated medical problems.
Debra Clyde graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University School Of Medicine in 1982 and spent the last 36 years in the medical field, according to her family practice biography.
Debra Clyde was affiliated with many hospitals in her career, including Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.
Driver Eric J. Thompson, 47, of Hansville, who allegedly initiated the chain of wrecks, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday.
A hospital nursing supervisor said Thompson remained in the intensive care unit Saturday but no longer required a ventilator.
Hand said Thompson had been reported to be driving erratically while traveling eastbound before the collisions occurred at about 5:09 p.m. Thursday west of the center point of the 7,900-foot span.
The five other drivers were travelling westbound.
The State Patrol was investigating the involvement of drugs or alcohol.
Driver Bosha Y. Haslakiewicz-Kuan, 45, of Houston, Texas, was transported to Jefferson Healthcare hospital, where she was treated and discharged, a spokeswoman said.
Drivers Timothy M. Fiedler, 52, of Chimacum; Lee H. Wachendorf, 40, of Neah Bay; David G. Wendell, 65, of Poulsbo; and a passenger in Wendell’s vehicle, Kristina D. Fountain, 71, of Poulsbo, were not injured, Hand said.
The State Patrol said the crashes began after Thompson crossed the center line into oncoming traffic in the westbound lane and sideswiped Fiedler’s Kenworth construction truck.
Thompson then struck Wendell’s GMC Envoy SUV as Wendell attempted to move to the shoulder of the road to avoid the collision.
Wendell’s vehicle was completely destroyed, the State Patrol said.
Thompson continued eastbound in the westbound lane and struck Clyde’s Ford Ranger pickup head-on, totalling the vehicle.
Clyde’s vehicle rotated toward the bridge barrier on the westbound shoulder and was struck by Haslakiewicz-Kuan’s four-door Hyundai, which was destroyed.
Thompson then struck Haslakiewicz-Kuan’s Hyundai before rotating and striking Wachendorf’s four-door Mazda, which was destroyed.
East Jefferson Fire-Rescue sent two ambulances and an engine from Quilcene were sent to assist at the scene that was coordinated by Poulsbo Fire Department.
Emergency personnel created a landing zone on the highway just west of the bridge to evacuate the injured.
All the drivers and the passenger were wearing seat belts.