18-month sentence follows head-on crash at Lake Crescent

FORKS — An 18-month prison sentence was meted out to a 51-year-old Hoquiam-area man in federal district court for vehicular assault for seriously injuring two West End residents in a Sept. 6 head-on collision.

Kelly Lee Landry had pleaded guilty to two counts of drug-related vehicular assault in a Lake Crescent crash involving Ramona and Gordon Oakes of Forks, whose ages were unavailable Monday.

The case was adjudicated in federal district court in Tacoma because the wreck occurred on U.S. Highway 101 in Olympic National Park, which includes Lake Crescent.

Landry, who was high on methamphetamine when the crash occurred, according to court documents, was sentenced Thursday and will be in community custody for 36 months after his prison time.

“As they describe in their Victim Impact Statements, the offense has left them permanently limited in their mobility, thus ending important sources of happiness in their lives,” according to the Aug. 9 sentencing memorandum from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Landry was driving east on U.S. Highway 101 from Forks to a casino that was not specified in the complaint when he crossed the centerline of in a Chevy Silverado pickup at about 8:30 p.m. Sept. 6, according to court documents. He hit a 2004 Ford Taurus car being driven westbound by Ramona Oakes, who was returning home from a medical appointment in Silverdale.

“The impact of the collision was immense,” according to the sentencing memorandum.

Ramona Oakes and her husband, a Forks Community Hospital physical therapist until the collision, saw headlights directly in front of them before the Silverado hit them, their car going over a steep embankment about 20 feet toward Lake Crescent, which skirts Highway 101.

Ramona Oakes was pinned by the steering wheel and dashboard.

More than 20 personnel from Clallam County Fire District No. 2 extricated the couple. The Oakes and Landry were treated at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.

Ramona Oakes had a left pulmonary contusion, multiple rib and left-hand fractures, and broke her left femur, left clavicle, right ankle and right patella.

Gordon Oakes had multiple rib fractures, lung contusions, a broken ankle and a broken nose.

Landry, whose employer said he was unauthorized to drive the truck, also was removed from the scene by ambulance. Landry was not seriously injured.

An emergency responder found methamphetamine and marijuana pipes on the floor of his truck when he was removed from the vehicle, according to court documents. A toxicology test showed elevated levels of marijuana and methamphetamine, including a methamphetamine level that was more than double the average methamphetamine-impaired driver’s level, according to the sentencing memorandum.

Landry had a history of substance abuse that included being fired from employment with the city of Montesano for taking prescription or illegal drugs while on duty, according to the sentencing memorandum.

Landry, a carpenter, has five children, his youngest a 16-year-old girl.

“I never wanted to hurt anybody, but I know my actions and addiction did just that,” Landry said in a 3½-page letter to district court Judge Ronald B. Leighton.

The collision was “a tragedy for everyone,” Leighton said in sentencing Landry.

“When drugs come into your life, your honesty, integrity and life go out the door.”

The Oakes have forgiven Landry, according to the sentencing memorandum.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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