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A Chevrolet SUV ended up in ditch along Portal Way and a sheered-off fire hydrant is visible in the path (February 24, 2018). Photo: Discover Ferndale

UPDATED: SUV sheers off fire hydrant before ending up on its side in ditch

As of the time of the writing of this story, details had yet to be released how a black Chevrolet SUV ended up on it side in a ditch along Portal Way this morning. The crash occurred about 8:30am this morning in the 6100 block of Portal Way, north of Newkirk Road.

According to Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Ben Boyko, no one required treatment but the gas tank was leaking into the ditch and steps had been taken to mitigate that environmental impact.

One person was seen being questioned by Ferndale Police.

The road was covered with snow and slush at the time of the crash.

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The sheered off fire hydrant laid near the SUV wreckage but there was no geyser effect. Boyko said hydrants in Ferndale are turned off and on at a point below the permafrost level. This prevents water from freezing in the line near the surface which could prevent a hydrant from working.

Traffic was reduced to one lane through the area for about an hour as a result of the crash and subsequent vehicle recovery efforts.

UPDATE 2/26/18 10:30pm

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Ferndale Police Lieutenant Bill Hatchett said the driver, Dustin Severson, age 26, took a friend’s vehicle without the owner’s permission and then drove it into the ditch as reported in the story above. Ferndale Police responded and subsequent investigation found Severson to be under the influence of alcohol and driving with a suspended license and without a required ignition interlock device.

Hatchett said Severson was booked into Whatcom County Jail Saturday and is facing the following charges:

  • taking a motor vehicle without owner’s permission
  • driving under the influence
  • 3rd degree driving while license suspended
  • driving without an ignition interlock device

Jail records indicate Severson was released Sunday afternoon after posting bond.


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