Man guilty of crash that injured girl

Daughter, then 11, has recovered, attorney says

PORT ANGELES — The co-owner of Mason’s Olson Resort in Sekiu has pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and received a sentence of 30 days of community service as well as revocation of his driver’s license after causing a crash that seriously injured his 11-year-old daughter.

Brandon Jacob Mason, 40, was driving drunk before the 2 a.m. July 23, 2018, collision on state Highway 112, according to court records. He entered the plea to the Class B felony March 18 in Clallam County Superior Court.

He admitted to causing “substantially bodily harm” to his daughter, defined under state law as “bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part.”

The girl was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles before being flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to State Patrol Detective Jason Roe’s investigative report.

She was treated for skull, left-side rib and left-side clavicle fractures and a punctured lung. She also had amnesia.

“She’s fine, she’s totally fine, completely recovered,” Mason’s lawyer, Karen Unger of Port Angeles, said Thursday.

Mason, transported to Forks Community Hospital, was treated for head and face injuries, a broken sternum, left rib fractures and a concussion, Roe said. Mason was in the hospital for two days.

‘Felt terrible’

Unger said Mason “felt terrible” about the crash.

“He was very remorseful.

“Of course, he is very relieved that this daughter is fine.”

Mason had been charged with vehicular assault with a special allegation, a child passenger younger than 16.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of vehicular assault with disregard for the safety of others.

Mason does not have a criminal history.

Under his offender score, the standard sentencing range was one to three months with a maximum term of 10 years in prison.

Judge Brent Basden followed the recommendation of Unger and Deborah Kelly, special deputy prosecuting attorney for Clallam County, who advised that Mason be sentenced to 30 days in jail converted to community service.

Mason also will serve 24 months in community custody under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections.

During the period of supervision, he cannot possess or consume alcohol and must undergo treatment for up to a year, obtain a substance use disorder evaluation and comply with its recommended treatment.

Neither the American Falls, Idaho, resident nor his daughter were wearing seat belts when Mason swerved his F-150 Ford pickup off state Highway 112 and down an embankment, Roe said.

He said road conditions were foggy.

According to a State Patrol investigative report, Mason’s blood alcohol level was 0.134 — the legal limit is 0.08 — when he tried and failed to exit Highway 112 by missing a right-hand turn onto Front Street in Sekiu, the location of his resort.

He was driving 100 mph in a 50-mph zone when he struck the curbed hillside between Highway 112 and Front Street and went airborne, continuing down the incline, hitting a tsunami-evacuation-route sign and landing below on Front Street, rolling to a stop about 400 feet from where Mason’s truck hit the curb, according to a State Patrol investigative report.

“Front Street goes down a steep decline before leveling out just above sea level,” Roe said.

After the crash, Mason was “incoherent,” initially telling authorities he did not know what happened, according to the State Patrol report.

Then he said his older daughter, who was in Idaho, had been driving, then told a Forks police sergeant that he had been drinking and let someone else drive, then said to “just put him down as the driver.”

Mason has co-owned the resort since 2015.

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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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