PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man was cited for negligent driving after a wreck that sent his two sons to a Seattle hospital, a State Patrol spokesman said.
Darrell Hutchins, 31, fell asleep at the wheel of his minivan at about 4 a.m. Thursday, smashing the vehicle into a traffic-signal support pole at the U.S. Highway 101 intersection with Mount Pleasant Road east of the Port Angeles city limits, the State Patrol said.
Ethan Hutchins, 14, was in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center late Thursday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.
He was unconscious when he was extricated by Clallam County Fire District 2 emergency personnel wielding Jaws of Life apparatus. It took about 20 minutes to cut off the passenger door and rooftop to extricate him, Assistant Fire Chief Dan Huff said.
Hutchins’ brother, Andrew Hutchins, 4, was in satisfactory condition at Harborview, Gregg said.
Andrew Hutchins appeared to have minor injuries, Huff said.
Driver Darrell Hutchins was transported to Olympic Medical Center with minor injuries, Huff said. He was treated and discharged, OMC spokeswoman Bobby Beeman said.
Darrell Hutchins told authorities he was about a block from home after returning from Kennewick, about 350 miles away, when the collision occurred, Huff said.
Hutchins said he fell asleep at the wheel of his 2007 Chevy Uplander while traveling westbound on Highway 101, State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said.
The van crossed into the left-turn lane and eastbound traffic, smashing into a power box and light post at the intersection of Highway 101 and Mount Pleasant Road, Winger said.
Ethan Hutchins was sitting in the front passenger seat, the area of the vehicle that took the brunt of the crash.
The brothers were airlifted to Harborview, Winger said.
Winger said Darrell Hutchins and Ethan Hutchins were wearing seat belts.
Andrew Hutchins was in a car seat on the rear passenger side.
The State Patrol cited Hutchins with second-degree negligent driving, an infraction.
State Patrol personnel said there was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved in the mishap, Winger said.
“They don’t believe he was impaired,” Winger said.
“He just fell asleep.”
Responding units from Fire District 2 included an ambulance, a command unit and an engine.
Other units also arrived from the Port Angeles Police Department, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and State Patrol
Fire District units were cleared the site at 6:12 a.m.
The minivan was was impounded.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].