By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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At 5:36 p.m. Tuesday, Trooper Christopher Daigle, 31, driving a fully marked State Patrol 2011 Crown Victoria, was slightly west of the Sequim Avenue exit when he received a call to a vehicle fire in Jefferson County, according to a State Patrol report.
Daigle, who is based in Port Angeles, turned on his lights and siren and headed east on Highway 101 to the fire at Milepost 2 on state Highway 104, the State Patrol said.
As Daigle approached Sequim Avenue, an unidentified vehicle traveling the same direction as the patrol car moved to the right shoulder, then moved back into the lane of travel in front of him, the State Patrol said, giving the following account:
To get out of the way, Daigle crossed the centerline and made other evasive maneuvers to the right to avoid striking other vehicles.
The patrol car left the roadway and continued sideways into the center median between Highway 101 and Sequim Avenue on the eastbound on-ramp.
The rear of the patrol car knocked down a state Department of Transportation sign and came to rest in the median.
Daigle was not injured, but the patrol car received reportable damage. It was driven from the scene.
The driver of the second vehicle, whose name was not included because the vehicles did not make physical contact, did stop and was interviewed by investigators, said Trooper Russ Winger, spokesman for the State Patrol.
State Patrol investigators are looking into why the second driver returned to the lane before Daigle passed and whether Daigle was following all State Patrol policies, Winger said.
As with any incident involving a patrol car, the investigation may take some time before a final report is issued, he said.
Winger said the car fire was out before responding units arrived.
The car was towed by a private towing company hired by the owner, he said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.