State Patrol investigating collision involving trooper's patrol car
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
The 2011 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car is shown with the two other vehicles involved in Friday's collision at the bottom of the Morse Creek "S" curve on U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The State Patrol continued to investigate Saturday a wreck on U.S. Highway 101 in which a state trooper's patrol car crossed the centerline and struck two other vehicles Friday afternoon near Morse Creek.

Trooper Travis D. Beebe, 39, was taken to Olympic Medical Center with back and neck pain, according to Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman.

Beebe was not listed on the OMC patient roster late Saturday morning.

The State Patrol said the fully marked 2011 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was westbound at about 4:30 p.m. when it crossed the centerline and collided with two other vehicles, a 2009 Honda sport utility vehicle driven by Tigran Gyonjyan, 34, of Sammamish and a 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup truck driven by Dana M. Thompson, 28, of Sequim.

The memo said Beebe's patrol car struck the left side of Gyonjyan's SUV and Thompson's pickup in the Morse Creek “S” curve area about 2.4 miles east of the Port Angeles city limit.

Winger told KOMO-TV on Friday night that the officer was driving on Highway 101 when he saw a car speeding in the opposite direction.

Winger said the trooper turned around and was trying to catch up to the speeder when he lost control on a curve and crossed into the oncoming lane.

Winger did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.

The circumstances leading to the crash were not mentioned in the press memo this morning. It said the wreck was under investigation.

Gyonjyan reportedly was slightly injured and treated at the scene by paramedics. Thompson was not injured, according to the State Patrol.

Five passengers in the Gyonjyan car — including two 9-year-olds — were uninjured, the memo said.

The driver of the Toyota was not injured, nor were her passengers: Jerry T. Thompson, 61, and 1-year-old Sitka M. Thompson, both of Sequim, the memo said.

The wreck partially blocked Highway 101 until 10:07 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

Beebe's patrol car was destroyed and towed to the Port Angeles State Patrol station.

Gyonjyan's Honda also was destroyed, according to the memo, while Thompson's pickup was damaged and towed away.

In 2010, Beebe was selected as the District 8 Trooper of the Year. District 8 encompasses Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Wahkiakum and Grays Harbor counties.

Last year, he was involved in a high-speed chase up Deer Park Road east of Port Angeles that led to the death of a motorcyclist, Bjorn R. Larsen, 36, of Forks.

A two-page summary compiled by the State Patrol's Major Accident Investigation Team of the May 8, 2012, wreck — in which the patrol car that Beebe was driving also tumbled off the road and was destroyed — blamed the motorcyclist.

However, Beebe, stationed with the State Patrol's Port Angeles detachment, was suspended for one day without pay for violating the State Patrol's vehicle-pursuit policy by getting into the collision, State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon said last May.

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



Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb contributed to this report.

Last modified: November 30. 2013 7:05PM
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