Gardiner: Troopers suspect “road rage” in two Peninsula crashes

GARDINER — State troopers are continuing their search for a pickup truck they believe was involved in a fatal one-car rollover crash Saturday evening on U.S. Highway 101 near Old Gardiner Road.

The driver of the truck might have been part of an aggressive driving incident that resulted in the death of Michael D. Benefiel, 45, of Port Angeles, Washington State Patrol Trooper Glen Tyrrell said Wednesday.

“We don’t know what the involvement is of that second vehicle,” Tyrrell said.

“There may have been some road rage taking place.”

Troopers are looking for a blue or green pickup truck similar in size to a Ford Ranger.

A two-car collision Tuesday afternoon on state Highway 19 at milepost 6 near Chimacum might also have been caused by road rage, Tyrrell said.

A 1988 Ford Escort and a 1999 Ford Ranger pickup heading southbound on Highway 19 collided in the southbound lane at about 4:30 p.m., according to a state patrol report.

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