Teetering truck blocks Deception Pass bridge

WHIDBEY ISLAND — Strong winds left a tractor-trailer truck teetering on the edge of the Deception Pass bridge for several hours Friday.

Highway 20 between Anacortes and Oak Harbor was closed for nearly seven hours after a large gust of wind pushed the truck across the bridge into oncoming traffic.

The truck, which was hauling furniture, hit the guardrail and a small pickup around 7 a.m., Washington State Patrol trooper Lance Ramsay said.

The truck was dangerously close to tumbling over the guardrail and off the bridge into the water 185 feet below. Wind gusts up to 55 mph prevented crews from removing the truck until about 1:20 p.m.

"It’s too windy. We’re worried if we move the pickup and there’s a gust of wind, the tractor-trailer will fall over the edge," Ramsay said.

The driver, Gene Shaible of Vancouver, Wash., was able to scramble out of the truck without injury. The pickup driver, Charol Brodt of Oak Harbor, was treated at Whidbey General Hospital for minor injuries, Ramsay said.

With the road blocked, the Clinton ferry to Mukilteo had long delays. Some passengers waited up to 90 minutes, said Susan Harris with Washington State Ferries.

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