Driver training ordered after Forks officer-involved collision

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — After a fourth minor wreck involving Forks police patrol vehicles, Police Chief Rick Bart has ordered more driver training for his officers.

A Forks police officer who may be charged after an investigation of a Monday night collision by the State Patrol has been assigned to organize an emergency vehicle driver-training session for the entire department, according to the chief.

Forks police officers have been involved in frequent minor wrecks in recent months, including a collision with a parked car and leaving a vehicle in gear, which rolled into a telephone pole, Bart said.

Officer-involved wreck

Monday’s was the most recent officer-involved wreck.

A marked 2003 Crown Victoria patrol car, driven by Forks Police Officer Julie Goode, 30, collided with a 1995 Toyota Avalon driven by Misty M. Davis, 37, of Forks at 8:01 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Wood Street and Ash Avenue, said investigating State Patrol Trooper Eric Tilton.

Neither driver was injured, and both vehicles had reportable damage but were able to be driven from the scene, Tilton said.

The State Patrol is investigating the cause of the collision, and charges against the officer may be pending, according to a State Patrol memo.

The State Patrol was called in to investigate because a police vehicle was involved in the collision.

According to Tilton’s report, the patrol car driven by Goode was stopped at a stop sign on Wood Street at Ash Avenue.

Davis was traveling northbound on Ash Avenue approaching Wood Street.

Goode pulled into the intersection, impacting the side of the Toyota, Tilton said.

Said Bart: “We’re just glad nobody was hurt.”

‘Push bar’ damage

The damage to the police car was limited to the “push bar” mounted on the front of the vehicle, he said, and if the State Patrol investigation concludes that Goode was at fault, damage done to the Toyota would be covered by the city’s insurance policy.

If the officer is found to be at fault, then an internal investigation will be done to see if department operating procedures were violated, Bart said.

In any event, the mangled push bar from the collision will be mounted in the police station, and the name of any officer involved in a collision will be attached to the frame as a reminder for officers to pay more attention, Bart said.

Bart said if any single officer establishes a pattern or history of similar wrecks, that officer is singled out for additional training and may be disciplined.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 09. 2013 5:52PM
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