Port Angeles man sentenced to jail for vehicular assault

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man has been sentenced to nine months in jail after entering a plea of guilty to one count of vehicular assault.

Tarance Gilham, 44, pleaded guilty last week to the Class B felony stemming from a traffic wreck Jan. 17, 2019. He was sentenced by Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brent Basden.

Gilham was driving his Ford F150 pickup while intoxicated east on U.S. Highway 101 near the junction with state Highway 112 a few miles west of Port Angeles, said Mark Nichols, Clallam County prosecuting attorney, in a press release.

Gilham’s passenger said that Gilham was driving aggressively and at one point reported the speedometer read 95 mph, according to Nichols.

According to witness statements and the crash investigation, Gilham attempted to pass another vehicle crossing the center line into the oncoming lane of traffic, drifted to the shoulder. He then swerved back across the lanes resulting in a collision with a minivan containing two adults and two young children. Gilham and his passenger suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the minivan suffered a broken clavicle and the minivan’s adult front seat passenger suffered substantial bruising from the collision. The children sustained minor injuries and did not require medical aid.

Toxicology results revealed that Gilham’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was approximately 0.137.

Gilham has one prior conviction for negligent driving first degree, stemming from an incident in November 2018. Gilham also has a pending DUI charge in Stevens County. Gilham’s standard sentencing range under Washington guidelines for vehicular assault is three to nine months in jail.

“The State and the defense agreed to a recommendation of the high end of the range in exchange for Gilham’s plea,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Woolman.

“We feel the high end of the range was appropriate given the facts and Gilham’s history.”

Gilham will serve in the Clallam County jail. In addition, Gilham will be placed on community custody supervision for 12 months. He will be required to comply with all requirements of the Department of Corrections including receiving a chemical dependency evaluation and treatment.

His driver’s license will be revoked for one year and he will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device until at least January 2024.

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