SK woman still hospitalized after Thursday accident

A South Kitsap woman remains hospitalized in Seattle this week after being struck by a car while riding in her wheelchair Thursday night.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, 82-year-old Patricia J. Lange was crossing Mile Hill Drive at Fircrest Drive around 6:30 p.m. when she was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said the car that hit Lange was a 2000 Chevrolet coupe driven by a 43-year-old South Kitsap woman who “appeared to be doing everything she was supposed to be doing.

“It happened very quickly, and it appeared the driver couldn’t do anything but try and hit the brakes,” Wilson said, explaining that it did not appear to investigators that either excessive speed or alcohol was involved. “There were a lot of witnesses.”

At 7:23 p.m., Wilson said Lange was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she reportedly was originally listed in critical condition.

On Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said Lange was still in the intensive-care unit, and was listed in serious condition.

Wilson said Mile Hill Drive was closed at the scene of the accident for nearly four hours while deputies investigated. He said the road reopened at 10:51.

Port Orchard resident Andrea Goodwin, 23, said she drove by the scene about an hour after the incident, explaining that she drives past that intersection every day on her way to work and was not surprised to see an accident.

“It’s a dangerous hill,” Goodwin said. “There’s no light, and many people just aren’t paying attention.”

Five days earlier, another accident occurred at the same intersection, according to the Washington State Patrol.

In that incident a 46-year-old victim was struck at 11:20 p.m. July 15 by a Toyota 4Runner driven by a 16-year-old Port Orchard boy.

The victim suffered a broken femur, a possible broken pelvis and internal injuries and was also airlifted to Harborview Medical Center following the collision.

According to the trooper investigating the scene, the victim was intoxicated, and was crossing an unlighted intersection and was not in a crosswalk. Charges against the victim were pending following that incident.

However, Wilson said as far as he knew, there were no criminal issues involved in Thursday’s accident.

Dusty Wiley, a traffic investigator with Kitsap County Public Works, said there are no plans to put a crosswalk at that intersection.

“It would not be safe to have a crosswalk there without a traffic light,” Wiley said, explaining that it is never a good idea to have crosswalks at “mid-block crossings,” particularly those with middle turn lanes and in high-traffic volume areas.

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