PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - A Chimacum man told police he purposefully jumped his car over an embankment and onto a beach in Port Townsend to keep a natural high going after surviving a harrowing day at sea.
Port Townsend police said Joshua Duane Hannum, 35, told officers he had "a couple beers" and "a lot of adrenaline" leading up to the decision to drive the car westbound off the end of Water Street, launching his car over the breakwater about 12 feet to the beach below.
Two officers were called to the scene around 8 a.m. Saturday to find Hannum’s white Subaru station wagon a few feet from the Port Townsend Bay waterline.
The officers later found the owner of the car, Hannum, who had some blood and scratches on his face.
Police said Hammum admitted he was the driver and lone occupant of the car when he intentionally drove it off the road around midnight.
Police said Hannum, who goes by the name Admiral, described a harrowing day at sea near the San Juan Islands in which he and other members of his crew narrowly avoided catastrophe sailing in bad weather. The adrenaline rush
from the voyage carried over into the night, Hannum said, and he felt trying to jump his car would keep the natural high going, Port Townsend police said in a news release.
Authorities said Hannum told the officers that in spite of the alcohol, he didn't feel he was drunk at the time. Because of the amount of time that had passed since the wreck, officers were not able to prove whether Hannum was impaired at the time he jumped the car.
Police said there was 59 feet of skid marks on Water Street, indicating that the Subaru was braking before going over the large boulders forming the breakwater.
When questioned about the skid marks, Hannum said he may have decided at the last minute that jumping the car wasn't a good idea, but it was too late, police said. The speed of the car and wet roads prevented Hannum from stopping.
The Subaru sustained two flat tires, body damage to the front and sides and damage to the undercarriage.
Hannum was cited with reckless driving. Officers said they advised him to seek counseling regarding his poor decision-making.