A Sequim woman died on Jan. 5 after colliding with a semi truck on State Route 20. Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol

A Sequim woman died on Jan. 5 after colliding with a semi truck on State Route 20. Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol

Sequim woman dies in Jefferson County collision

A 59-year-old Sequim woman was killed late Friday morning, Jan. 5, near Discovery Bay when her car collided with a semitruck that dragged her Honda Civic 300 feet before the vehicles came to a stop, the Washington State Patrol said.

Karen D. Najera was killed after she went into a ditch while traveling eastbound on state Highway 20 near Moah Hill Road.

She tried straightening out her 1998 Honda and over-corrected before veering back into her lane, across the center line, into the westbound lane of oncoming traffic and colliding with the truck, State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said.

The wreck occurred at 10:44 a.m. about a half-mile east of U.S. Highway 101, troopers said in a collision memo.

“She was driving on the shoulder portion and it kind of caught her tire and she over-corrected and lost control,” Winger said Monday.

The 2010 Kenworth semitruck being driven by Jason Crawford, 42, of Port Townsend was pulling an empty wood chip trailer for the Port Townsend Paper Co. mill, Winger said.

Crawford was not injured, Winger said.

Limited information was available on Najera Tuesday. Her Facebook page states she’s from Port Townsend, graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1976 and Shoreline Community College in 1989.

After the impact, the truck traveled 300 feet down the road with the car pinned under the front portion, Winger said.

Both vehicles had “extreme damage,” Winger said. “They hit head on. It was a significant impact.”

The highway was closed for more than seven hours until 5:49 p.m. while the State Patrol mapped the scene and crews removed the vehicles, vehicle parts and fluids from the road.

Alcohol or drugs were not involved, Winger said Monday, and both drivers were wearing seat belts.

“The investigation was not complete, but it doesn’t look like charges will be levied,” Winger said.

The semi was valued at “upward of $75,000 to $100,000,” he added.

Rob Ollikainen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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