Picking up the pieces: Port Angeles community pulls together after bulldozer attack [*** GALLERY ***]
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John Lutz of Sequim, an employee of American's Finest Cleaning Service, takes a photo of a wrecked bedroom in a home owned by Dan Davis. Tarps cover gaping holes in the walls. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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Homeowner Dan Davis, left, talks with Robert Bourns, owner and operator of America’s Finest Cleaning Service of Port Angeles, as they examine a destroyed boat shed. A crushed trailer sits in the foreground. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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A line of antique machinery sits alongside a driveway leading to Barry Swegle’s residence next to a fence mangled during last week’s bulldozer attack. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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A sign issued by the county declaring an unsafe structure is affixed to a modular home at 309 Baker St. that took the full brunt of the destruction leveled last week. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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Barbara Porter, who lives at 2313 Pioneer Road, points out where a house at 309 Baker St. was pushed into her home. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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Jeff Bozick, an engineer with Seattle-based Pacific Engineering Technologies, takes foundation measurements in the destroyed bedroom of Dan Davis’ home on Ryan Drive. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A modular rental home in Port Angeles' Gales Addition owned by Dan Davis sits dozens of feet away from its foundation after it was pushed by a logging bulldozer May 10, leaving a path of debris in its wake.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A sense of caring appears to have risen from the rubble of the 10- to 15-minute bulldozer rampage that struck a small neighborhood in Gales Addition east of Port Angeles on May 10.

“A whole lot of people have come by and shaken my hand and offered to do whatever they can,” said Dan Davis, 74, whose two homes were all but demolished in the bulldozer attack.

His neighbor Barry Swegle, 51, is in jail, charged with crimes related to plowing a logging bulldozer through two of Davis' homes and other pieces of his property along Ryan Drive and Pioneer Road, damaging another home, some sheds and knocking down a power pole.

Davis said he spent most of last week talking with Seattle-based Safeco Insurance agents, organizing visits to his properties and determining what would be covered by his insurance polices.

“I got so many calls on my cellphone I had to upgrade my minutes to the max three or four times,” Davis said. “It was just call after call after call.”

He said people have offered construction equipment and other help once he is able to get to work.

No estimate on damage

So far, Davis said he does not have an estimate for the damage done to his property, which included his personal house, a mobile home he owned, a car trailer, tractor, boat, boat house, garage and his beloved 2003 Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Davis said he and wife Mary used the truck, which had just 39,000 miles on it, to visit their grown children on the east side of the Washington Cascades every year.

“We would just make a little tour every year with our fifth-wheel [trailer],” Davis said.

“That was our baby,” Mary Davis said last week.

Through his insurance company, Dan Davis said he received the Kelley Blue Book value for his truck, which now sits mangled almost beyond recognition on Davis' property at the intersection of Baker Street and Pioneer Road.

Davis said he plans to eventually have the truck carted away, but not before he removes a few personal items from it.

“I have tools that are wound up in [the truck] that I'm attached to,” Davis said.

“And I want to dig them out before they haul [the truck] off.”

The truck still sits in front of Davis' mobile home, which was pushed off its foundation by the bulldozer into the house 72-year-old Barbara Porter shares with her husband, James.

Porter home

Barbara Porter said Saturday she did not have insurance on her home.

It did not sustain serious damage when Davis' home was pushed into it.

Barbara Porter said an engineer with Clallam County came by last week and assured her the home is safe to live in.

The rampage did, however, severely damage two sheds the Porters kept behind their home, containing at least $5,000 worth of power tools, the couple's gardening supplies and Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Porter said she's been cleaning up what she can around her home. She plans to begin work in earnest after Davis' mobile home is removed from the side of her house.

“They said, two weeks, they would have it off here,” Porter said.

“[Davis is] doing it as fast as he can.”

Porter said the May 10 rampage has kept her from sleeping soundly most nights since.

“I go to sleep and hear a sound, and wake up thinking it's [Swegle],” Porter said.

When it comes to the house Davis shared with his wife less than a block away from the mobile home, Davis said his insurance company has been trying to find a home within 5 miles where the Davises can stay until a final determination on whether the home they bought and renovated in 1995 can repaired.

Since the home was damaged, Davis and his wife have been staying with their son, who also lives in the Gales Addition area, but they plan to move out within the coming week.


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

Last modified: May 18. 2013 5:48PM
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