A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy was critically injured Sunday night when he tried to help a motorist who ran into a telephone pole.

The incident happened around 6 p.m. at the intersection of Otto St. and Old Port Townsend Rd., just outside the Port Townsend city limits.

The guy wire, which restrained the pole that was struck, snapped under the strain, causing a heavy metal plate at the base of the pole to fling up and strike the deputy in the face and chest.

The deputy lost consciousness for a time but regained consciousness just before medic units arrived. The deputy was transported to Harborview Medical Center with head and chest wounds. He was listed Monday morning in critical condition.