Guardrail installed at site of tragic veterans van crash

SEQUIM – A guardrail installed recently near Sequim Bay State Park is a welcome protection that, sadly, is too late to save her husband, said Vivian Fisher of Port Angeles.

Howard LeRoy Fisher, 62, died at the base of a hemlock tree in April after the Disabled America Veterans van he was riding in ran off the shoulder of U.S. Highway 101 and crashed into the tree.

“I wish it were there,” Fisher said.

“I wouldn’t have lost my husband.”

Three serious crashes within three months at that spot off the westbound lane of the highway not only claimed Fisher’s life but also sent five others to a hospital.

The wreck in which Fisher died was the second of the three.

None of the wrecks were connected, and none were blamed on the roadway.

But the state Department of Transportation installed traffic safety devices there last week in the hope of preventing future crashes.

About 700 feet of guardrail was installed along the westbound lane of the highway between the entrance to the state park and a curve opposite Louella Road.

Sets of bumps, called buttons, were glued to the roadway’s shoulder to alert drowsy drivers if they veer to the right.

The centerline of the highway has a similar feature, a set of deep grooves called a “rumble strip.”

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