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Driver crashes, car burns following seizure

After suffering what police are calling a “seizure,” an unidentified man drove his car straight into a tree in Southworth just before 8 a.m. Monday morning.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department is still piecing the incident together, but it appears a lone driver traveling down Vesper Place at Southworth Drive suffered a medical attack of some sort and lost control of his vehicle. The man collided with a tree, barely missing a house just six feet away.

On impact, the car’s gas tank burst, soaking the vehicle and tree with gasoline. Almost immediately, the car ignited.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said 911 calls quickly started coming in and, at first, it was hard to determine whether the car had struck the tree, the house or both.

“Vehicle’s on fire, trees were burning,” Wilson said.

Also, the car had felled power lines in the collision, and emergency personnel were forced to deal with the possibility of live wires on site. Luckily, the car’s driver was already out of the vehicle, which Fire District 7 spokeswoman Lisa Kirkemo said was engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived.

“Two citizens pulled this guy out of the burning car,” Kirkemo said. “Had these guys not done what they did, the man inside could have died.”

These same passersby, Kirkemo continued, also broke a window in the nearby dwelling to make sure any inhabitants got out before the house caught fire.

In the end, the house was not damaged by the flames, but both the car and part of the tree were reduced to cinders before the flames could be extinguished.

“It was really a pretty impressive fire,” Kirkemo said.

The seizure victim was transported to Harrison Hospital for observation and treatment. No further information on his condition was available.

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