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A devastating car accident on Whidbey Island claimed the life of 16-year-old Tara Halterman, a 10th-grade student at Coupeville schools. This heart-wrenching incident occurred around 4 p.m. on Crosby Road, shaking the core of this small community.

The Car Accident Details

Tara was a passenger in a 2014 Subaru Legacy when the vehicle tragically rolled over. Authorities report that she was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car, suffering severe head injuries. Despite immediate life-saving attempts, including CPR and rapid transport by Life Flight helicopter, Tara succumbed to her injuries at Whidbey Health Medical Center.

The driver, also a 16-year-old girl from Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, and another passenger were involved in the accident. The driver sustained injuries and was treated at the hospital, while the third passenger was evaluated on-site and released. Initial investigations revealed that the driver might have lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid an apparent oil patch on the road, leading to the tragic accident. However, the responding trooper noted the absence of any oil patches or skid marks at the scene, raising questions about the circumstances leading to the car accident.

In the aftermath of the car accident, the driver appeared in Island County County Superior Court where Judge Carolyn Cliff found probable cause for vehicular homicide, setting bail at $5,000. This decision reflects the gravity of the incident, as well as the complex emotions surrounding the young driver’s physical and emotional state.

Steve King, the superintendent of Coupeville schools, has reached out to the school community, emphasizing the availability of mental health and grief counseling for students and staff affected by this tragedy. His message underscores the profound impact of Tara’s loss on her family, friends, classmates, and the wider community.

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About Blanford Law:

We are no-nonsense, relentless, fair, and honest. We are great listeners instead of fast talkers, that is just who we are. More than 20 years ago, Ken began practicing law with a deeply-seeded belief that every person has the right to the best legal representation available. He built his law firm on that belief. Another belief that he strongly adheres to is his fundamental belief that clients deserve respect, with no assumptions or preconceived notions.  If you or someone you know is accused of a crime or injured as a result of the negligence of another, please have them call us at 253-720-9304 or email us