CLALLAM BAY — Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a suspected driver of a hit-and-run incident that seriously injured a Forks man.
Caylen Phegley, 22, was hit by a van Saturday as he rode his motorcycle while bear hunting.
He was in stable condition Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He had been discharged by Tuesday, said the nursing supervisor at the hospital.
Deputies are searching for Francisco Comonfort-Soavedra, 46, whom they suspect was the driver of the van.
He had not been located as of late Tuesday, said Brian King, chief criminal deputy of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 7:08 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a report of a collision between a vehicle and a motorcycle about 5 miles up the Sekiu River Main Line Logging Road, which is accessed from milepost 10 on state Highway 112, Sgt. Ed Anderson said in a news release.
When deputies arrived, accompanied by law enforcement from La Push Police Department and members of the Clallam Bay Ambulance crew, they found a bent-up motorcycle and a license plate from the van that had struck the motorcycle, Anderson said.
The van had left the scene, and Phegley, the motorcycle rider, already had been taken from the scene, Anderson said.
Authorities were later notified that Phegley was being treated at Forks Community Hospital. Eventually, he was transported to Harborview.
The driver of the van was later identified as Comonfort-Soavedra, who had been picking salal for Olympic Evergreen Company in Forks and was in the process of driving out of the woods when the collision occurred, Anderson said.
Comonfort-Soavedra had not contacted his family since Saturday after left the scene, Anderson said.
The last known ping on his cellphone showed he was in the Sequim area later that evening, said Anderson and King.
The cause of the collision is being investigated.
While the initial collision appeared to be accidental, Anderson said leaving the scene of an attended motor vehicle accident is a crime under RCW 46.52.020 (3) “Duty in case of injury or death or damage to attended vehicle or other property.”
The Sheriff’s Office is requesting any information regarding the whereabouts of Comonfort-Soavedra. Sheriff’s dispatch is at 360-417-2459.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.