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Tree stops car's descent down slope and into Dogfish Creek
POULSBO — This driver was lucky.
The new rust said the crash possibly occurred late Thursday. The Mazda 3 four-door compact car sideswiped a telephone pole on Bond Road across from the Liberty Ridge apartments and continued about 70 feet down the steep slope, a tall tree stopping its descent into Dogfish Creek.
The driver’s side airbag didn’t deploy, indicating the car was slowed by its collision with the pole and slid down the slope, according to Poulsbo Police Sgt. Robert Wright. There was no evidence of injury. A shoe seemed wedged between the driver’s seat and the floor mat; nearby, a casino pay stub. A Clearwater Casino Hotel parking permit hung from the rear-view mirror. A pack of Scuncis and handwipes were neatly tucked into pockets in the back of the driver's and passenger's seats.
Apparently, the driver had climbed out the front passenger window and made it up the slope to Bond Road before leaving the scene. That was quite a feat, particularly if the solo crash occurred at night because Ernie Alexander of Kitsap Towing had to rappel down the slope to hook his winch gear onto the car.
City Public Works employees found the car about 2 p.m. while cutting grass on the roadside. Sgt. H. Leeming controlled traffic while Wright investigated. Blackberry vines entangled in the car’s front end snapped and popped as Alexander winched the car up the slope. Glass from the sideview mirror remained wedged in the telephone pole.
It’s not known why the crash occurred. There were no skid marks, so vehicle speed may not have been a factor, Wright said. It’s not known whether the driver was alone; that won’t be determined until police interview the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner has been identified and has a clean driving record, Wright said.
The driver faces no charges, no tickets. It’s not illegal to leave the scene of an accident if you didn’t damage anyone else’s vehicle or property, Wright said.
But the vehicle’s owner will face some costs: Kitsap Towing charges $177 an hour for retrieving the vehicle, and there will be impound fees as well.