Animal control officer recovering after Dungeness wreck

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

DUNGENESS –– Clallam County Animal Control Deputy Tracey Kellas was off-duty Wednesday as she recovered from minor injuries suffered when her duty truck was destroyed in a wreck with an allegedly intoxicated driver near the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse.

Kellas' 2009 Ford F-250 patrol pickup truck was struck Tuesday evening by a 2005 Buick LeSabre driven by Michael Eugene Chapius, 56, of Sequim at the intersection of Anderson and Towne roads.

Kellas was treated at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles for minor injuries and was discharged, Chief Deputy Ron Cameron said.

“She's doing all right. She's got a few 'owies,' but she'll be all right,” Cameron said.

“She's going to be sore for a bit.”

Chapius was treated at the scene by Clallam County Fire District No. 3 medics for minor injuries and then was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of drugs.

Chapius was being held in Clallam County jail Wednesday on a $10,000 bond after his first appearance in District Court.

He is scheduled to appear in court again July 23.

A full report of the wreck was not available, but Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman, said Chapius pulled out in front of Kellas near the intersection.

Cameron said the force of the collision disconnected the rear end of Kellas' vehicle from the rest of its body. He said the truck probably was destroyed.

Chapius' car careered over the south embankment of Anderson Road and ended up in the schoolhouse's grass yard.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: June 12. 2013 5:52PM
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