PORT ANGELES — A 56-year-old Yakima-area man has been booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of hitting a motorcycle and car, leading police on a short pursuit and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the State Patrol and court documents.
Richard Speedy was driving a Dodge truck towing a 35-foot Bighorn fifth wheel when he hit a motorcycle and car on U.S. Highway 101 near Monroe Road in Port Angeles at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, said Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman.
No one was hurt, Winger said.
Speedy and the motorcyclist eventually left the scene and the driver of the other vehicle stayed and talked with law enforcement, Winger said. Neither of the drivers was identified.
After leaving the scene, Speedy headed into Port Angeles and led police on a short pursuit on the west side of town before stopping near the 2100 block of West Sixth Street, according to court documents.
Bail was set at $7,500 during a 72-hour-hold hearing in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday. Prosecutors had asked for $20,000.
Speedy has not been charged.
“This does seem to be more than your garden-variety DUI [driving under the influence],” said Erik Rohrer, Clallam County Superior Court judge, when deciding bail.
Speedy’s next court appearance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday in Superior Court.
Speedy’s blood-alcohol content when arrested was 0.12 percent, said James Kennedy, deputy prosecuting attorney. Speedy was previously convicted of DUI in 1981, Kennedy said.
Port Angeles Police Sgt. Jason Viada said police were able to track down Speedy with the help of a local resident. A sheriff’s deputy helped police, who were busy with other calls, in the search for the vehicle, he added.
At about 6 p.m. Monday, Officer Mike Johnson went on duty and was able to make initial contact with Speedy, Viada said.
Johnson spotted the truck quickly turning a corner on West Fourth Street and noticed fresh damage on the front of the truck, according to Johnson’s report.
Johnson wrote that when he attempted to stop the vehicle, Speedy sped off, making a hard turn eastbound onto West Sixth Street and nearly flipping the fifth wheel.
Johnson wrote that the driver continued to drive recklessly at speeds of 40 to 45 mph in a residential area. The speed limit is 30 mph.
At one point, the fifth wheel left the road, striking a mailbox, traveling through a garden and striking a large coniferous tree, de-limbing the south face of it, according to the report.
Randy Schroeder, Les Schwab Tire Center store manager, said a service truck driver recognized Speedy’s truck from the collision and called police.
“He just happened to see him on the other end [of town],” Schroeder said. Viada said this call helped police locate the vehicle.
Winger said Speedy’s vehicle was previously reported driving erratically in the Sequim area.
Because Speedy was suspected of DUI, the truck and fifth wheel were impounded, Winger said.
The State Patrol responded after Speedy became hostile with firefighters who were at the scene of the wreck, Winger said.
That’s when Speedy left the scene and headed into Port Angeles, Winger said.
Because officers park their cars at their homes, Johnson “was in the perfect position to locate and stop the suspect” when he went on duty, Viada said. “He came on the air and he was immediately assigned to that case.”
Speedy had driven through downtown Port Angeles and on Marine Drive toward Ediz Hook, Viada said.
He then turned around and drove up Hill Street before stopping near the 2100 block of West Sixth Street, Viada said.
By the time Speedy’s truck was found on Sixth Street, the back window was broken out, the left headlight was falling out, pieces of bushes were sticking from the front of the truck and the trailer was covered in dents.
Viada said there were three reasons there was a successful arrest in the hit-and-run.
Viada credited the citizen who called in Speedy’s location, inter-agency cooperation and that the Port Angeles Police Department has officers park their vehicles at their homes.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.