Major charges unlikely in Port Angeles pedestrian death
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Windshield and hood damage to the 1994 Acura Integra are grim reminders of Monday night’s car-versus-pedestrian collision on Front Street in Port Angeles. -- Photo by Kyle McCurdy/Peninsula Daily News

By Randy Trick, Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES - No serious charges are likely after a 49-year-old woman died of her injuries sustained when she was hit by a car while crossing Front Street on Monday, police said Tuesday.

Irene M. Harris of Port Angeles died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Monday night after she was hit at 8:27 p.m. by an 1994 Acura Integra driven by 20-year-old Amber D. Steim of Port Angeles.

There is no indication that Steim was speeding or driving in an unsafe manner, Port Angeles police officers said, and therefore she is not likely to be charged with a crime.

Alcohol or drugs were not involved either, police said.

Steim may face an infraction for failing to yield to a pedestrian, but it is unlikely she will face much more, said Port Angeles Police Officer David Dombrowski.

Dombrowski interviewed Steim after the crash, and said she was "very shaken up" by what happened.

Steim's Acura, which suffered hood and windshield damage, was heading west after twilight on Front street and approached the intersection with Albert Street.

Steim looked to her right because a car heading north on Albert Street looked like it was going to enter the intersection.

Just as she pulled her gaze back in front of her, she struck Harris, Dombrowski said.

He said that Steim was reaching for the button to her power windows at the same time, but there did not seem to be any other distractions.

Harris may have been difficult to see, he said. She was wearing a shirt that was dark, almost black.

Sunset on Monday was at 7:40, and Monday was the night before a new moon.

Harris had a small flashlight with her, Dombrowski said, but a witness told him that Harris walked into the crosswalk without looking up.

Harris was taken to Olympic Medical Center before she was flown to Harborview.

The five police officers at Monday's crash, including a Clallam County Sheriff's Department deputy, are expected to finish their reports of the crash this morning, said Sgt. Jack Lowell of the Port Angeles Police Department.

"We've got five people going in five different directions trying to reach an end goal," Lowell said.

The reports will be sent to the city's legal department, which will determine what, if any, charges or infractions may be filed against Steim.

Front Street was closed for about an hour as the police officers investigated the crash.

Monday's crash is another reminder that in Port Angeles crosswalks are both marked and unmarked, and both drivers and pedestrians have a role in being careful, he said.

"We've got thousands of intersections in town, and when you least expect it, you'll have someone cross," Dombrowski said.

And as a pedestrian, "don't assume traffic is not going to hit you."

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Reporter Randy Trick can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at randy.trick@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 11. 2007 9:00PM
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