Clallam Transit bus hit after rear-end collision
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A bus sits with a shattered windshield after a hit-and-run accident Wednesday morning on U.S. Highway 101 near Deer Park Road.

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A rear-end collision on Deer Park Road caused a subsequent wreck involving a Clallam Transit bus in the eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 on Wednesday, the State Patrol said.

There were no serious injuries in the 11:18 a.m. wreck.

“We had a hit-and-run up there,” said Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman.

“A guy driving a Lexus rear-ended another passenger car driven by a female. It pushed the car into a Clallam County Transit bus.

The Lexus, he said, took off and ended up crashing into a tree at 355 Twin Firs Road.

The driver of the Lexus, Kelles Cottrell, 60, of Port Angeles, was arrested for investigation of hit-and-run.

The State Patrol said Cottrell drove a 1994 Lexus into a 2002 Ford Taurus driven by Heidi Anderson, 32, of Port Angeles.

Anderson was treated for neck and back pain, Winger said.

It was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved. “That's still under investigation,” Winger said.

The right eastbound lane of U.S. Highway 101 was closed at 11:30 a.m. and reopened at 1:15 p.m.

A trooper who was working at the State Patrol office on U.S. Highway 101 and Old Olympic Highway arrested Cottrell on Twin Firs Estates Drive, which is about 1 mile south of the highway off Deer Park Road.

“The trooper did make an arrest for at least a hit-and-run,” Winger said.

“That's what we have right now.”

Clallam Transit General Manager Terry Weed said there were 20 passengers on the No. 30 commuter bus, which was on its way from Port Angeles to Sequim when the wreck occurred.

Names of the passengers on the bus were not immediately available. Their injuries were not considered serious, Winger said.

The bus had a broken windshield on its right side and a damaged bike rack above its front bumper.

Cottrell was booked into the Clallam County jail at 1:25 p.m. on investigation of hit-and-run injury. He has not been charged.

Clallam County is preparing to build an underpass of U.S. Highway 101 just west of Deer Park Road to prevent similar wrecks by eliminating left-hand turns across the four-lane highway from Deer Park Road and Buchanan Drive.

The underpass is scheduled to be constructed next year.



Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2012 6:09PM
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