State Patrol: Wrong-way driver arrested on Highway 101

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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FORKS — A California man has been arrested near Forks after allegedly driving the wrong way on U.S. Highway 101 and forcing a car off the road, all while shoeless and allegedly under the influence of marijuana.

Kirill S. Chumak, 30, of Los Gatos, Calif., was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court with one count each of hit-and-run on an attended vehicle, driving under the influence and first-degree malicious mischief.

Chumak is set to be arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Clallam County Superior Court.

In Chumak’s first court appearance Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Kenneth Williams ordered him to turn over his passport if he wanted to be released from the Clallam County jail, where he was being held on no bond or bail as of Wednesday morning.

Passport in California

Attorney Douglas Kresl, the Clallam County public defender assigned to Chumak, told the court that Chumak’s passport was in California — Chumak’s listed place of residence — and that it would be a day or two before it could be mailed to Port Angeles.

The charges against Chumak stem from him allegedly driving north on the southbound side of U.S. Highway 101 early Monday morning near the intersection of the highway and LaPush Road, forcing an oncoming pickup truck off the road and — after being arrested by a State Patrol officer — kicking out the rear window of the trooper’s patrol car.

Alleged hit-run

Chumak first came to local law enforcement’s attention after Forks Police Officer Julie Goode responded to a reported hit-and-run at 5 a.m. Monday on Highway 101 near the bridge over the Calawah River, according to Goode’s incident report.

A woman driving a white Toyota pickup truck south across the Calawah bridge had to steer into the guardrail to avoid a black passenger car headed north in the southbound lane, Goode wrote in her report.

The truck sustained minor damage, and the woman was not injured, according to the report, while the wrong-way driver continued north in the southbound lane without stopping.

About a half-hour later, a State Patrol officer came across Chumak’s black BMW with California license plates parked facing north in the southbound lane of Highway 101 at Milepost 201, a few miles north of the junction of Highway 101 and LaPush Road, according to a State Patrol narrative report filed with the motion for determination of probable cause in Clallam County Superior Court.

As the state trooper approached Chumak’s car, Chumak allegedly resumed driving north in the southbound lane of Highway 101 and stopped when the trooper told him to through the patrol car’s loudspeaker, according to the trooper’s report.

After Chumak got out of his BMW, the state trooper asked him why he had been driving in the wrong lane, to which Chumak replied, “I hit a deer or something, and I was getting away from it,” according to the report.

The trooper also noted that Chumak wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks on his feet, with Chumak saying he didn’t normally wear shoes “because it is the new ‘in’ thing,” according to the trooper’s report.

During the interview with the state trooper, Chumak told the trooper he recently had “smoked weed” but was not sure how long ago.

The trooper conducted field sobriety tests designed to identify marijuana intoxication and developed enough information to arrest Chumak for investigation of driving under the influence.

‘Run into the woods’

With Chumak in the back seat of the State Patrol car, the trooper reporting hearing a loud thumping sound and turned to see the rear passenger-side-door window shatter.

Chumak’s feet came out through the opening.

“I asked Chumak why he kicked out the window, and he replied, ‘Because I needed to get away and run into the woods,’” the trooper wrote in the incident report.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: December 05. 2012 5:42PM
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