UPDATED: Trooper injured in U.S. Highway 101 wreck identified
Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
State Patrol Trooper Keith Nestor takes photos to document a collision involving a State Patrol cruiser and other vehicles Friday near Port Angeles.
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The trooper was identified this morning as Travis D. Beebe, 39, of Port Angeles.
A press memo from the agency said the fully marked 2011 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was westbound and crossed the centerline, colliding with two other vehicles, a 2009 Honda CRV 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 crossed the centerline in the Morse Creek "S" curve area about 2.4 miles east of the Port Angeles city limit and struck the left side of the Gyonjyan SUV and Thompson's pickup.
Trooper Russ 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.
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. The trooper reported back and neck pain, Winger said.
Five passengers in the Gyonjyan car — including two 9-year-olds — were uninjured, the State Patrol said in the memo.
The wreck blocked part of Highway 101 until around 10:30 p.m. Friday.
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.
In May 2012 was involved in a high-speed chase up Deer Park Road, east of Port Angeles, that led to the death of a motorcyclist.
A 2-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.
Last modified: November 30. 2013 11:22AM