A dump truck was sent over the embankment on state Highway 104 near state Highway 19 when two pickups were involved in a glancing head-on collision shortly before 11 a.m. Friday. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

A dump truck was sent over the embankment on state Highway 104 near state Highway 19 when two pickups were involved in a glancing head-on collision shortly before 11 a.m. Friday. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

UPDATE: Collision that blocked Highway 104 for nearly five hours involved two pickups, two semis

Three reportedly taken to hospitals

PORT LUDLOW — Charges are pending against a Port Townsend man who crossed the centerline of state Highway 104 and started a chain reaction that involved two Peterbilt trucks and two pickups, sent three people to hospitals and closed 104 in both directions near its intersection with state Highway 19 for nearly five hours, according to the State Patrol.

The wreck is being investigated as a possible vehicular assault, said Trooper Katherine Weatherwax, spokesperson for the State Patrol.

She emphasized Saturday that the investigation is continuing and no conclusions had been reached.

Brandon G. Chaney, 42, of Port Townsend initiated the wreck when he crossed the centerline at 10:52 a.m. Friday as he was traveling westbound on 104 in an S10 Chevy pickup, according to a State Patrol memo.

He hit a 2019 Peterbilt flatbed truck driven by Stuart R. Craig, 66, of Bremerton, which was traveling eastbound; and a 2021 Ford F48 pickup driven by Aaron E. Borrero, 48, of Auburn, which was directly behind Craig’s truck, according to the memo.

Borrero swerved, went over the centerline and hit the 1998 Peterbilt dump truck driven by Michael R. Veach, 35, of Port Orchard, which was traveling westbound behind Cheney’s pickup.

Veach also took evasive action and left the roadway to the right, the State Patrol said.

Chaney’s pickup and Craig’s truck came to rest in the eastbound lane, while Borrero’s pickup ended up in the westbound lane and the dump truck went over an embankment.

Chaney and a passenger in Borrero’s pickup, Reuben K. Hinton, 50, of Lynnwood were sent to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, while Borrero was taken to St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale, according to the State Patrol.

On Saturday, Hinton had been discharged and Chaney was not seen as having been admitted, according to a Harborview spokesperson. Borrero’s condition was not available.

The drivers of the semis were not hurt, said the State Patrol, which also said that all involved in the wreck were wearing seatbelts except Chaney. It was not known if alcohol or drugs were involved, troopers said.

The highway was fully blocked for four hours and 49 minutes. Traffic was detoured to Paradise Bay Road. The highway was reopened by about 3:45 p.m. Friday.

Traffic came to a standstill on Highway 104 before the detours were in place; Shine Quarry personnel posted shortly before noon that there was no access to Beaver Valley Road.

Assistant Chief Pete Brummel of East Jefferson Fire Rescue said personnel were dispatched at 10:52 a.m. Friday and found that people were trapped in the two pickup trucks and the dump truck had gone over the embankment.

They were assisted by Navy Region Northwest Engine 91 on Indian Island and the Quilcene Fire Department, Brummel said.

A second crash was reported later Friday about 2 miles west of the initial wreck on Highway 104.

No one was hurt when a car went into a ditch, Weatherwax said Saturday.

The state Department of Transportation said in a 3:15 p.m. Friday alert that the westbound lane of the highway near Sandy Shore Road was partially blocked. The alert was lifted shortly before 4 p.m.


Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at lleach@soundpublishing.com.

Reporter Brian Gawley wrote the initial version of this story.

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