High water and ice on Brownsville Highway factors in crashes

Above: Tow truck driver Mark Moore prepares to haul out the second vehicle that went over the embankment on Brownsville Highway early Saturday morning due to icy water over the highway. Photo: Terryl Asla/Kitsap Daily News

BROWNSVILLE — Early Feb. 9, at the same spot and within just an hour of one another, two vehicles slid off the road and over a steep embankment on Brownsville Highway.

Both vehicles were recovered. But the hazard remains.

Both vehicles went off the highway where it runs through the low valley between the location of the Central Kitsap Wastewater Treatment Plant to the north and South Keyport Road to the south. That lowland stretch is surrounded by marsh lands on both sides and regularly floods after heavy rains.

When that happens, Kitsap County posts caution signs warning of water over the highway.

While the rain had stopped, the signs remained even though the water running over the roadway was only inches deep on that chilly Saturday morning. But there was still enough water to hydroplane. And now there was ice.

So when Jim Keaton drove northbound through the flooded area, his Nissan pickup slid out of control, he said. It went off the pavement and nosed down the west embankment about 50 feet further on down the road.

“This is a bad spot here, it really is,” tow truck driver Mark Moore said as he prepared to use the crane on his truck to haul Moore’s vehicle back up onto the road.

Another of his company’s tow trucks had pulled another car out of the ditch earlier that morning, he said.

“They’d just left when this happened,” he said.

He urged drivers to use extra caution on this stretch of the highway.

“Drive safe,” he said.

Terryl Asla is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at tasla@soundpublishing.com.

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