Blaine man, 42, killed in Birch Bay Drive crash

Published on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 by arl King

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Blaine man, 42, killed in Birch Bay Drive crash

By Karl King

A 42-year-old Blaine resident was killed December 7 when his vehicle left the road on Birch Bay Drive and struck a large tree.
Washington State Patrol reports indicate that Ronald Jones was traveling northbound near the 7700 block of Birch Bay Drive in his 2008 Toyota Matrix at about 8 p.m. when his vehicle failed to negotiate a turn near Homestead Resort’s Grand Bay condominiums, striking the tree and a large sign affiliated with the newly constructed development.

Although the WSP did not report if speed was a factor, witness Angel Amende estimated Jones had been traveling at speeds of 55 to 70 miles per hour.

Witnesses also reported Jones had not been wearing a seatbelt when they pulled him from the car.

Kelvin Barton, a Birch Bay resident and former accident investigator for the City of Everett, was sitting in his home with his family on Lora Drive when he said he felt the entire house shake. 

Barton and an off-duty fireman from King County, who happened to be in the area, pulled an unconscious Jones from the vehicle and began CPR until medical personnel arrived at the scene.

Emergency medical personnel attempted to revive Jones for more than an hour but were unsuccessful.

Brian Unick had just returned several minutes earlier from dinner at CJ’s Beach House restaurant and was standing on the deck of the Homestead Condo when he heard a car going very fast. 

“It looked like he was going so fast that he didn’t see the curve, made an adjustment and hit the tree,” he said.

Vic Unick, Brian’s father, said he heard the bang and saw parts of the car going up in the air.

“It looked like a bomb going off,” he said.

Angel Amende was driving south on Birch Bay Drive on her way home from dinner at Bob’s Burgers and Brew, preparing to turn left into Birch Bay Leisure Park when she noticed the speeding car and pulled over. 

“If I had been going 35 mph, he would have hit me and there would have been two cars involved with the bodies of me and the seven children in the van,” she said.

Other Birch Bay residents, such as Ray Rodriguez, say many motorists ignore the 35 mph posted speed limit signs on Birch Bay Drive even during the summer when the limit is reduced to 20 mph. Rodriguez said he is concerned about future accidents happening as a result of speed.

“I hear them speed by all the time but this is the first time I heard something explode,” he said.

Officials say alcohol or drugs are not suspected and the case is still pending investigation.