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Vehicle ended up on top of a leaking propane tank on Lummi Island after a crash. (May 28, 2018). Source: Whatcom County Sheriff's Office

Car ends up on leaking propane tank after crash – nearby homes evacuated

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office released information today about a crash that occurred on Lummi Island in the early morning hours of Monday, May 28th.

According to a news release from Sheriff Bill Elfo, Thea Bell Cabreros, age 28, of Lummi Island, was driving a silver 2007 Honda Accord southbound on South Nugent Road when the Honda left the road, went into a ditch and then swerved back across the road to the other side where it went through a fence and came to rest on a propane tank.

WCSO deputies along with Whatcom County Fire District 11 responders were dispatched to the scene about 3:50am.

Several nearby houses were evacuated after it was determined the propane tank was leaking. “Propane additive “mercaptan” could be smelled about a quarter mile away according to deputies on scene, which initially prevented investigators from approaching the vehicle,” Elfo said in the news release.

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After being checked by aid personnel and released, Cabreros was interviewed by a deputy at the scene. She was given field sobriety tests since it appeared she had been drinking prior to the crash. “Probable cause was developed for her arrest for DUI and she was taken to the Whatcom County Jail for processing and booking,” according to Elfo.

Fire officials notified Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management of the crash and the Specialized Emergency Response Program (Haz-Mat) was consulted. “The decision was made to isolate the area, block the immediate roads, and clear downwind residents,” according to the news release.

The propane tank was eventually drained of its gas so the Honda could be safely removed.

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While some road closures did occur, “The incident did not prevent or block any residents from reaching other parts of the island or the ferry,” Elfo said. “Thankfully there were no injuries and minimal property damage associated with this potentially disastrous incident.”

One Comment

  1. Amber McCain Amber McCain May 29, 2018

    I really hope they throw the book at her. This could easily have turned into a fatality. I absolutely hate when people drive under the influence.

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