by: Gary Horcher Updated:Clallam County —
A Washington State Patrol Trooper is recovering from neck and back injuries after crashing his patrol car into two vehicles on U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles the evening of Friday, Nov. 29, and detectives are seeking witnesses.
The crash, which destroyed the patrol car, led investigators to narrow the busy roadway to a single lane for five hours.
Investigators said the trooper was traveling eastbound when he saw a car speeding toward him in the westbound lanes. The trooper made a U-turn and pursued the speeding car.
The trooper lost control of the patrol car, crossed the center line and sideswiped an oncoming Honda CRV. The patrol car then veered into the path of an oncoming Toyota Tundra pickup truck. The impact with the pickup truck flattened the front end of the patrol car, bent one of the front wheels sideways and sheared the other front wheel completely off.
The trooper was the only one with significant injuries in the crash. He was taken to a nearby hospital in Port Angeles and was treated for neck and back injuries.
Investigators are trying to figure out why the trooper crossed into oncoming traffic.
”It’s wet, there's also sand on the roadway from sanding de-icing operations,” said WSP Sergeant John Huntington. “Was it a loss of traction? It’s unknown, that part's still going be looked at."
Detectives are seeking witnesses that may have seen any events leading to or the actual crash.
The Honda CRV and the Toyota Tundra had extensive damage; however, three people in the vehicles walked away and refused medical treatment.
Anyone with information or who knows someone who has information about the collision is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Jerry Cooper at 360-805-1192.