Arraignment set in 2009 bus, pickup truck wreck
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
The wreckage of a Clallam Transit bus and another vehicle sit in the ditch near the site where the bus collided with a camper pickup truck on U.S. Highway 101 near Laird's Corner west of Port Angeles in September 2009.

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Southern California man will be arraigned this coming Friday after a 2009 wreck in which he hit a Clallam Transit bus, seriously injuring himself and the bus driver, who was hailed as a hero.

Brandon K. Foth, 35, is charged with two counts of DUI-related vehicular assault and a single count of hit-and-run in connection with a Sept. 15, 2009, six-minute rampage that began in the city of Port Angeles and ended with a head-on collision with the bus near Laird's Corner on U.S. Highway 101.

The injuries to Foth, who lost a leg in the collision, were so serious that the charges were dismissed without prejudice in 2010, meaning they could be refiled at a later date, county Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg said Friday.

Charges were refiled Aug. 23, 2012.

Foth was arrested on an outstanding Clallam County warrant on the charges in January in Riverside, Calif., following his arrest on a charge of disorderly conduct, Troberg said.

Foth waived extradition, was transported to Washington state and was booked into the Clallam County jail.

Clallam Transit driver Jimie Richmond, 61 at the time, was seriously hurt.

He broke a leg, lost three teeth, suffered left-hand tendon injuries and was lacerated multiple times on his face and fingers.

Richmond, no longer employed by Clallam Transit, was credited by the State Patrol with preventing more injuries and possibly deaths by instinctively veering toward the right, away from Foth's vehicle, before impact.

“He still has many issues that he's trying to resolve,” Clallam Transit General Manager Wendy Clark-Getzin said Friday.

“I couldn't say that he's recovered.

“It was a very serious accident for Clallam Transit. It's one that we all remember.”

Bail set

Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer set bail at $15,000 Friday afternoon and assigned the nonprofit Clallam Public Defender as Foth's counsel.

Foth appeared in court in a wheelchair. He will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Friday in Superior Court.

He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent the day of the collision, according to the State Patrol investigative report.

The blood-alcohol limit is 0.08 percent.

The State Patrol said prescription drugs also were involved in the crash.

Foth was driving a 1999 Ford F-250 pickup truck hauling a camper west on Highway 101 when he crossed the centerline and collided with the eastbound bus, according to the investigative report.

Six minutes before the collision at Laird Road, Foth was involved in a two-vehicle hit-and-run in Port Angeles, according to the investigative report.

He allegedly sideswiped a 1997 Jeep Cherokee driven by Sandra Howe, who had her 18-month-old son and daughter as passengers.

The report did not indicate whether there were injuries to Howe or her children.

Witnesses said Foth was driving more than 65 mph while failing to stop for stop signs in residential Port Angeles.

Two men who witnessed Foth sideswiping Howe followed Foth and called 9-1-1, telling authorities they witnessed Foth strike several vehicles before he collided with the bus, the report said.

'Head-on' collision

A passenger on the bus said he saw Foth's vehicle “sway into the path of the bus and collide with it head-on,” according to the report.

Foth, who was trapped inside when the truck overturned, was transported first to Olympic Medical Center, then to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Three of the bus passengers were treated and released at OMC.

The crash blocked Highway 101 in both directions for more than four hours.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 08. 2014 5:11PM
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