PORT ANGELES — A 40-year-old Sequim man died while driving eastbound on U.S. Highway 101, with the single-vehicle wreck blocking the main two-lane thoroughfare for four hours east of Port Angeles, a State Patrol spokeswoman said.
The victim was William Wayne Ferdig, who was pronounced dead at the scene early Friday morning, the State Patrol said.
The crash occurred near the Highway 101-Old Olympic Highway intersection and was reported at 4:10 a.m.
Ferdig, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from his white 2000 Ford Ranger pickup and is suspected of having been impaired by alcohol, according to the State Patrol.
“Evidence on scene, to include the obvious odor of intoxicants, led investigators to believe impairment was a factor,” State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said in an email.
“We won’t be able to say anything definitively until we receive the toxicology report,” she said in an interview.
The fatality occurred within sight of the State Patrol office at 62 Old Olympic Highway, Hodgson said.
“He literally, probably, had just exited Old Olympic Highway and was traveling east on 101.”
Once on 101, Ferdig’s vehicle went into the grassy median dividing the four-lane highway then overcorrected, according to a State Patrol memo.
The pickup rolled, sliding across the two eastbound lanes before it stopped upright on the eastbound shoulder, according to a State Patrol memo.
The state Crime Lab is not expected to complete the toxicology results until at least January.
“Like any investigation, our toxicology results will take anywhere from six or more months,” Hodgson said.
The ongoing investigation will include reconstructing the last 24 hours of Ferdig’s life, she said.
“It’s going to be awhile before it’s completely finished,” she said.
“We want to do a thorough job.”
Both lanes of Highway 101 were blocked starting shortly after the crash was reported at 4:10 a.m. The roadway was reopened just before 8 a.m.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].