Joyce man charged with vehicular homicide after fatal wreck near Sequim

PORT ANGELES — A Joyce man who allegedly caused a fatal wreck near Sequim has been charged with vehicular homicide.

Vance Mitchell Mattix, 50, was charged Monday for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol when he caused a collision that killed Andrew Courney of Sequim last Wednesday.

Courney was 61.

Mattix will be arraigned in Clallam County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Clallam County sheriff’s deputies said Mattix was visibly intoxicated after the crash and “smelled heavily” of alcohol, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Mattix was driving northbound in a Ford utility truck and failed to negotiate the corner at Kitchen-Dick and Lotzgesell roads before the crash, deputies said.

He crossed the center line and collided with a westbound passenger van that Courney was driving, Deputy Michael Leiter said. The wreck occurred shorty before 3:48 p.m.

Leiter said in court papers that Mattix was staggering as he walked and that his eyes were watery and bloodshot.

Mattix initially said he had consumed a “couple” of drinks, Leiter said. Mattix stopped Leiter during a horizontal gaze test and said, “Just forget it, I’m drunk,” and, “Take me to prison, my life is over,” Leiter wrote in the probable-cause statement.

Mattix told the lawman that he had been in Bremerton on Wednesday and was returning home to pick up his children.

He said he had taken the corner too fast, lost control and hit the van, Leiter said.

Mattix had blood samples taken at Olympic Medical Center.

Courney was pronounced dead when he arrived at OMC.

Mattix is being held in the Clallam County jail on $50,000 bail.

Defense attorney Lane Wolfley filed a motion Monday for approval of a property security bond for Mattix’s release.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour said he would need more information from Mattix before approving the $50,000 security bond, according to the minutes of the hearing.

Should he post bail or bond, Mattix would be required to abstain from drugs or alcohol, enroll in an alcohol monitoring program and surrender his firearms, among other requirements.

Mattix’s wife had retrieved her husband’s firearms from a safe and gave them to her brother for safekeeping, according to declarations filed Monday.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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