Coast Guardsman badly injured in collision on icy Vineyard road

Ralph Stewart

A young Coast Guardsman assigned to Station Menemsha was seriously injured after the car she was driving struck a patch of black ice on West Tisbury Road and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The crash occurred before 7 am, early Friday morning.

Whitley Brown, 20, was driving up-Island in a 2004 Ford Mustang, in the vicinity of Woody Bottom Road, when she apparently struck a patch of black ice and lost control of the vehicle, West Tisbury Police Sergeant Jeffrey Manter told The Times.

The Mustang collided with an oncoming 2007 Subaru Outback driven by Dr. Charles Silberstein of West Tisbury. He was not injured.

Emergency responders from West Tisbury and Edgartown needed power tools to get Ms. Brown out of her car. She was taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and later transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“It was difficult to stand up, it was so icy,” Sergeant Manter said. “Speed was not a factor.” Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Ms. Brown, a South Carolina native, reported for duty at Station Menemsha in December 2010 and holds the rank of Fireman, E-3. Senior Chief Jason Olsen, the officer in charge of the small, tightly knit station, traveled to Boston accompanied by Southeast District Coast Guard chaplain Jennifer Bowden, to support his crew member. Asked for an update Tuesday, he said Ms. Brown is doing as well as may be expected and that several members of her immediate family have traveled to Boston to be with her.