Drivers uninjured after early morning Highway 20 wreck near Port Townsend
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East Jefferson Fire-Rescue
The drivers of this and a second vehicle involved in a head-on collision on state Highway 20 were taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital in Port Townsend early this morning with minor injuries. Both vehicles were destroyed.
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The drivers of this and a second vehicle involved in a head-on collision on state Highway 20 were taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital in Port Townsend early this morning with minor injuries. Both vehicles were destroyed. Photo by East Jefferson Fire-Rescue.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A driver who fell asleep at the wheel was the cause of a head-on collision that destroyed two vehicles but led to no serious injuries Thursday morning, the State Patrol said.

Benjamin Zehe, 23, of Chimacum will face charges of negligent driving after the 4:48 a.m. wreck with a car driven by East Jefferson Fire-Rescue commission chairman Rick Stapf on state Highway 20, the State Patrol said.

Both Zehe and Stapf, 44, of Port Townsend were taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital, where they were treated and discharged, the State Patrol said.

Fell asleep at wheel

Zehe was traveling east on state Highway 20 and was near the intersection with state Highway 19 about 2 miles south of Port Townsend when he fell asleep and collided with the 2012 Ford F350 pickup truck driven by Stapf, which was heading west, the State Patrol said.

Troopers said Zehe fell asleep at the wheel.

His car veered into the westbound lane, and although Stapf swerved to miss him, the vehicles met head-on.

Stapf was on the way to Shoreline for a shift as a paramedic.

“It was an unfortunate incident,” Stapf said Thursday, adding that Zehe was “really shaken up.”

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and neither drugs nor alcohol was a factor in the crash, the State Patrol said.

Stapf said he was sore and would probably stay home for a few days to recover.

The State Patrol said both vehicles were destroyed.

Last modified: January 30. 2014 6:54PM
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