Forks man exonerated in case of truck crash, fire

PORT ANGELES — A Forks man arrested for investigation of fleeing the scene of a truck engulfed in flames after a crash Oct. 14 has been released from the Clallam County jail.

Prosecutors submitted an order to Clallam County Superior court Wednesday exonerating Marshall C. Petrovich, 27, from conditions of release — only two days after arguing he should be held on $150,000 bail.

“He was exonerated,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney April King, adding that the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department was asked to investigate the case further.

“We requested that to clarify witness statements that are unclear so that we can accurately assess the strength of the case before we make a charging decision.”

King said she couldn’t comment on whether she anticipates charges in the future.

“I can’t say that,” she said. “We don’t have the follow-up information. We’ll have to look at that first.”

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer set bail at $100,000, lower than the amount requested by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steven Johnson, who cited prior convictions for hit-and-run, reckless endangerment and aiming a firearm at a person.

Petrovich’s attorney, Harry Gasnick, director of Clallam Public Defender, said his office was not involved in the decision to release Petrovich.

“That was a decision from the prosecution,” he said.

The arrest report alleges that Petrovich crashed the 1987 Ford F-350 truck he was driving at about 1:25 p.m. Oct. 14 in the 1300 block of Merchants Road.

A passenger in the truck broke a bone in his face during the wreck, records say.

An investigation determined the truck was traveling between 42 mph and 52 mph in a 25-mph zone, at one point riding solely on its two right-side wheels before crashing into a patch of alder trees on private property, according to the report.

Petrovich was arrested six weeks later at the Forks police station after earlier denying any involvement in the crash.

County sheriff’s deputies and Forks Fire Department personnel responded to the wreck at about 1:25 p.m. Oct. 14 and found it “fully engulfed in flames” on the shoulder of Merchants Road, the report said.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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