1 killed, 5 hurt in construction zone on U.S. 101
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
The three vehicles involved in Monday morning's fatal crash sit on the south side of U.S. Highway 101 near Dryke Road west of Sequim.

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

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AGNEW — A 52-year-old Port Angeles man died Monday, and five others were injured in a chain-reaction collision on a portion of U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim that the state Department of Transportation is widening to improve safety.

Bryan Crawford died at the scene of the crash at Cliff Robinson Lane near the intersection of Pierson and Dryke roads after his 2001 F-150 pickup truck, the last vehicle in a line of three, overturned when he tried avoiding hitting the vehicle in front of him, State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said.

John McMahon, 42, was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and then to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in serious condition Monday evening.

Nicholas Crawford, 19, who was in Bryan Crawford's truck, was not injured. His relation to the deceased driver was not known Monday afternoon.

The collision closed the highway between Port Angeles and Sequim from 8:30 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. Vehicles were detoured to Old Olympic Highway.

Kayla Walls, 22, driving a 1991 Honda Accord, has a Utah driver's license but her city of residence was unavailable, police said. She was taken to Olympic Medical Center as a precaution, Winger said.

Stewart Wycoff, 28, of Poulsbo, who was driving a 2003 Ford flatbed truck, also was injured, Winger said.

Wycoff was treated and released at Olympic Medical Center, spokesman Jeff Anderson said.

Corbin Reneman, 20, a passenger in Walls' car, was transported to Olympic Medical Center.

His condition was unavailable late Monday afternoon.

The collision occurred as Walls, Wycoff and Crawford — in that order — were driving westbound on a two-lane, 3.5-mile section of Highway 101 that is being widened to the four lanes that characterize the rest of Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim, Winger said.

Walls, driving a 1991 Honda Accord, slowed to make a left-hand turn onto Cliff Robinson Lane, a private road.

Wycoff's truck struck her vehicle at the rear, causing Crawford to slow down to avoid hitting Wycoff, Winger said.

“They believe [Crawford] tried to slow down to make evasive steering possible and struck [Wycoff's] flatbed and rolled in the same direction going westbound,” Winger said.

A man came down from a house above the crash scene on foot at about 11:45 a.m. Monday, and troopers retrieved a house key from the car and gave it to him.

State Patrol Sgt. Gailin Hester said the man was a Walls family member.

The man would not comment.

Seven Clallam County Fire District No. 3 emergency vehicles responded to the collision, said Roger Moeder, assistant fire chief.

All three vehicles ended up on the southbound side of the road, though the stretch of highway still had to remain closed to allow investigators to review the collision scene, Winger said.

Information on possible citations was unavailable late Monday.

When completed by the end of summer of 2014, the road will be widened as part of a $27 million project.

Improvements will include two 12-foot lanes, a 30-foot median and two 10-foot shoulders that will replace the existing 8-foot shoulder.

Left turns of the kind made by Walls will no longer be allowed from Highway 101 in the construction area.

“This is the type of accident we are trying to reduce,” Transportation project manager Jerry Moore said Monday.

Workers are not currently working with heavy equipment in the roadway but on adjacent property, so there is no reason to lower the speed limit, Moore said.

“My advice to people is, when you are driving through the project, pay attention to the road,” he said.

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Reporter Arwyn Rice contributed to this report.

Last modified: May 20. 2013 6:20PM
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