SEQUIM — Kim and Don Bedinger hope to make the Morse Creek curve on U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles safer for travelers after their daughter Brooke Bedinger, 19, died June 21 while riding her motorcycle on that curve.
The Sequim family hopes to get enough support to install a concrete barrier at the curve within the next few years. Now, the division between east and west traffic is delineated with yellow markers.
“We realize it’s going to take some time,” said Kim Bedinger, Brooke’s mother. “It’s a dangerous roadway and we need to address it. I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt.”
The family plans a meeting on Barriers for Brooke/Morse Creek at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula at 400 W. Fir St.
The meeting is open to anyone who would like to help them get the conversation started on how they can accomplish their goal.
“We want to start getting ideas to brainstorm,” Kim Bedinger said. “Doing it as a community will make more of an impact.”
The State Patrol said that there have been 15 vehicle crashes on U.S. Highway 101 between the areas of milepost 252-254 (the Morse Creek curve) this year.
From 2007 to the present, about 250 crashes have been reported in the area, according to the State Patrol.
Since 2014, seven motorcycle crashes have occurred on the curve with one crash (Brooke’s) involving a fatality in 2018.
In the past 10 years, the curve has had four fatal vehicle crashes.
For now, the family plans to research the different types of road barriers, write letters to the editors of local newspapers, write to local and state representatives, possibly plan fundraisers and events to help gain support for their cause and more.
Bedinger died at the scene after her westbound 2016 Harley Davidson XL883 went across the centerline and into oncoming traffic, State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said. The State Patrol said drugs or alcohol were not involved.
A large memorial has grown by the side of the highway on the curve.
“Maybe if there had been a barrier, she maybe would have survived,” Kim Bedinger said.
“We just want to save a life. If we can save a life then we have succeeded.”
A Facebook page titled “Barriers for Brookie/Morse Creek” has been started where the Bedingers hope to gain online support and spread the word. To learn more about the Bedingers efforts, visit www.facebook.com/ groups/ 344021273003803.
For more information, contact Kim Bedinger at [email protected]
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].