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Coupeville woman drives over bluff

A car that was driven over the edge of a bluff on Madrona Way lays secured to a fire engine with a section of chain. The driver was transported to Whidbey General Hospital. - Justin Burnett photo
A car that was driven over the edge of a bluff on Madrona Way lays secured to a fire engine with a section of chain. The driver was transported to Whidbey General Hospital.
— image credit: Justin Burnett photo

A Coupeville woman was sent to the hospital today after she drove her vehicle off a forested embankment along Penn Cove.

Mary Gordon, 84, was transported to Whidbey General Hospital shortly after 2 p.m. Police said she did not appear to have been injured in the crash but that she later complained of body pains.

Her condition is unknown.

According to Island County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Davison, Gordon was eastbound on Madrona Way in a 1998 Dodge Stratus when, for an unknown reason, her vehicle crossed the opposing lane of traffic and went over the edge of a bluff.

The vehicle struck a berm of dirt and then a Madrona tree before coming to rest just below the precipice.

Coupeville Deputy Marshal Hodges Gowdey, one of the first to arrive, said bystanders helped the woman from the teetering vehicle before emergency responders were on the scene.

"They were afraid the car would go so they yanked her out," he said.

Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue emergency responders arrived a short time later and secured the car to a fire engine with chain. Rescuers were concerned that the car would topple over and down the hill before a tow truck could arrive.

It's still unclear what just happened, but Davison said Gordon may have suffered a medical issue, though he could not confirm that at the time.

Davison said the situation could have been much worse. The bluff is about 60-feet tall and a house is located at the bottom directly below where the car was perched.

"She got lucky she didn't roll down the hill," Davison said.

One lane of traffic was closed for about an hour until the vehicle was removed by a tow truck.

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