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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

School Superintendent Nearly Killed In Crash Welcomes 'Remote Testimony' Option

Washington Legislature
Pateros Superintendent Lois Davies testifies in Olympia in January 2015. On her return trip she was critically injured in a car accident. She supports the idea of remote testimony options.

The Washington state Senate plans to continue its experiment with remote testimony in the 2016 legislative session. This comes as welcome news to a school superintendent who nearly died on Stevens Pass after testifying at the capitol.

Lois Davies is the superintendent of the Pateros School District in north central Washington. Last January she came to Olympia to testify in favor of a measure to help schools recover after a disaster -- like the Carlton Complex Fire.

On her way home another disaster struck.

Davies was critically injured in a car accident in a snow storm as she was about to crest Stevens Pass.

“When the ambulance crew picked me up there, they didn’t think I would make it,” she said.

She spent a month-and-a-half at Harborview Medical Center. She was out of work for six months. Davies said in the future she would welcome the opportunity to testify before lawmakers remotely.

“There’s no question I would make the choice to Skype versus a drive over,” she said.

The Washington Senate plans to offer limited remote testimony opportunities in 2016, with plans to expand the option the following year.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."