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Family of injured North Bend woman will not sue

NORTH BEND - A trucking company owner came forward Aug. 12 to say the flying metal debris that seriously injured a woman driver might have come from one of his trucks.

Her family thanked the company, which is not being blamed for the accident.

The Washington State Patrol collected evidence from one of the company's double dump trucks, and will soon begin forensic testing to determine if it was the source of a 7-pound metal bar, a piece off a truck's suspension, that nearly killed Babe J. Watson of North Bend on the afternoon of Aug. 9.

Kelly Spangler, spokeswoman for the State Patrol, said it was "highly unlikely" that the accident will result in any criminal charges.

"The business owner completely cooperated with us," Spangler said.

Watson's two daughters, Brenda Watson and Shawna Watson-Himple, said they appreciated the truck company owner stepping up to help complete the investigation into how their mother was so gravely injured.

"We're very grateful," Brenda Watson said outside Harborview Medical Center, where her mother is being treated. "We don't have any anger. We're just worried about our mom."

The 55-year-old woman remained in serious condition last week with severe facial wounds. Her daughters said the accident left her unrecognizable.

Watson was driving a company-owned Hyundai Accent eastbound on Highway 202 on her way to work at a heating and air-conditioning company about 3 p.m. Aug. 9. When a westbound car passed her, it kicked up the 14-inch metal bar and sent it through Watson's windshield.

The metal debris hit her square in the face, knocking her unconscious. The Hyundai coasted for several hundred yards before stopping in a ditch, the Washington State Patrol said.

Although Watson has shown movement in her extremities, she has not fully regained consciousness since the accident.

In the hospital, doctors also discovered an aneurysm on Babe Watson's brain. Her daughters said the chance discovery might have saved their mother's life.

Her daughters said the family has no intention of pursuing legal action against the truck driver or owner.

"My mom raised us to be forgiving people," Brenda Watson said.

A relief fund to help Watson pay her medical bills has been established at Washington Mutual bank under her name.

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