Injured Sekiu woman’s condition upgraded; tribal elder’s services set Tuesday

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

NEAH BAY — A Sekiu woman injured in a Wednesday head-on collision on state Highway 112 had been upgraded from critical to serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as of Saturday.

Randee R. Murdoch, 23, was hurt in a two-car wreck that proved fatal for Mary Jo Butterfield, 81, a Makah elder and community leader who lived in Neah Bay.

Memorial services for Butterfield have been set for Tuesday.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon that day at the Neah Bay Community Gym, 1394 Bayview Ave. The funeral will start at 1 p.m. at the gym, with burial to follow at the Neah Bay Cemetery.

The State Patrol has said the investigation into the cause of the collision could take several weeks and that health issues are always looked into as a possible cause when an older person is involved in a wreck.

Butterfield was a former Tribal Council member, was active in the tribal community and was a member of the board of Americans for Indian Opportunity, a national indigenous people’s organization headquartered in New Mexico.

According to the State Patrol, Butterfield was driving a white 2003 Ford Taurus east on state Highway 112 about 3 miles west of Sekiu at 9:46 a.m. when her car crossed the centerline into the opposing lane, colliding with a westbound gray 1999 Nissan Sentra driven by Murdoch.

Butterfield was pronounced dead after the crash, while Murdoch suffered extensive injuries to her extremities.

State Patrol investigators said they do not believe drugs or alcohol was a factor in the collision.

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

Last modified: November 02. 2013 5:32PM
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