By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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EDITOR'S NOTEThe story has been corrected to say that State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said a car appeared to make an unsafe pass on state Highway 104 just before the motorcycle wreck. The story erroneously cited Winger as saying the pass was apparently legal. He said that it was in an area where passing is legal, but may have been done improperly.
DISCOVERY BAY — A Port Angeles man was airlifted to a Seattle hospital Thursday after a motorcycle wreck on state Highway 104 near the junction with U.S. Highway 101.
Harborview Medical Center this morning reported that the motorcyclist, Phillip Charles Jr., 71, was listed in critical condition.
Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman, said Charles was heading east on his 2006 Harley-Davidson bike at about 1 p.m. when an oncoming car swung into his lane to pass another car.
Charles was riding behind fellow motorcyclist Randal D. Miller, 57, of Port Angeles.
Miller slowed to avoid the car, Winger said, while Charles lost control of his bike and was thrown from it, hitting Miller's bike from behind.
The car struck neither motorcycle, Winger said.
Miller's motorcycle stayed upright, Winger added, and he was not injured.
Medic crews from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue took Charles to Discovery Bay, from where he was airlifted to Harborview, Winger said.
“We are not expecting it to be fatal, but [he had] serious injuries,” Winger said.
Russ Winger said the car appeared to make an unsafe pass, though it occurred in an area of the highway where passing is technically legal.
“It's legal to pass in that area. You have to do it safely,” Winger said.
An improper pass would be an infraction, Winger said, adding that the case is still under investigation.
Troopers may put out a call for witnesses of the incident as part of the investigation, Winger added.
The wreck and ensuing State Patrol investigation congested traffic on both lanes of Highway 104 from about 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Thursday, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@