DUI suspected in injury crash Friday that closes Meridian near Bellingham Walmart

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Bellingham Police believe intoxication may have been involved in a serious injury crash that closed Meridian Street near Walmart Friday evening.

Officers were called to a collision at 7:43 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in the 4400 block of Meridian Street after a vehicle had flipped over on its side in a 6-foot ditch/retention pond, Lt. Claudia Murphy told The Bellingham Herald in an email Monday evening.

The driver, who was not yet identified and Murphy reported appeared to be severely injured, was still in the driver seat when officers arrived, and Bellingham Fire Department medics were called to the scene.

“Officers jumped into the water and attempted to remove the windshield to gain access to the driver, and very quickly realized he would need to be extracted,” Murphy wrote.

Police stayed with the driver to keep him calm if he regained consciousness, Murphy reported, before Bellingham firefighters were able to remove him from the car and take him to St. Joseph’s hospital for care.

The crash is being investigated as a DUI, according to Murphy, who added that there was significant damage done to the fence of a nearby business and several truck cab covers and a fire hydrant was pulled from the ground and dragged approximately 20 feet in the crash.

“Investigation continues into the DUI portion of this case,” Murphy wrote. “No update on the condition of the driver at this time.”

Bellingham Police had to close Meridian Street in both directions after the crash for more than an hour until 9:09 p.m., according to a Bellingham Police Department Facebook post Friday, and the road was not fully reopened until 10:25 p.m.