GRAND COULEE — A former Everett mayor was injured and his wife was killed in a rollover crash near Grand Coulee on Monday.
Frank Anderson, 80, was a career firefighter and a city councilmember for 12 years when he took over as interim mayor from July 2002 through December 2003. His wife, Ramona Anderson, also 80, had been a medical assistant at The Everett Clinic. Her daughters said she was known to tend to other peoples’ needs, both at her job and as a family member or friend.
The couple was headed to their home in Omak after visiting a friend in Spokane. Around 2 p.m., they were traveling eastbound on Highway 174 near Grand Coulee. The 2012 minivan drifted onto the right shoulder, crossed back and went off the road on the other side before rolling over, according to a Washington State Patrol accident memo.
Frank Anderson freed himself, but his wife was stuck and having trouble breathing.
Around the same time, a man and woman from British Columbia were riding their motorcycles nearby, according to the Andersons’ daughters. The passersby saw the minivan about 40 feet away from the highway, with its lights still on, and went down to help. Unable to open the side doors, the man crawled in through the hatchback. He freed Ramona Anderson and helped her lie down inside the car so she could breathe.
The woman, meanwhile, rode off to find cell service and called 911.
By the time medics arrived, Ramona Anderson had lost consciousness and the man was performing CPR. She died at the scene.
Frank Anderson was flown by medical helicopter to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee where he was treated for minor injuries. He was released Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, daughter Carol Whitfield called it “a miracle” that her father survived without any broken bones. She and her sister Janet Salmon said they were thankful for the motorcyclists, who were there when no one else could be.
“They treated our parents like they were their own,” Salmon said.
Frank and Ramona Anderson would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June. They had met at Northwest Bible College — now called Northwest University — in Kirkland.
He was an Everett boy. She was born in South Dakota.
The two had planned to visit Everett this week, with the expectation of welcoming a new great-granddaughter into the world.
Both daughters said Ramona Anderson had been a constant presence in their lives.
“You’d fall in love with her,” Whitfield said. “She was just amazing. She had such compassion for people. She loved talking to people and making people feel comfortable and welcome.”