PYSHT — A 28-year-old new owner of a fishing boat died Thursday of injuries from a single-car crash on Wednesday.
Donald Leon Davis Jr. of Neah Bay had been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center Wednesday morning after the crash on state Highway 112 near Milepost 26.
He suffered head and facial injuries, as well as a broken leg, when his 1984 Ford Thunderbird crossed the centerline of Highway 112, drove into the ditch, hit several trees and stopped near the Pysht River.
“I always liked him, and he was always a good guy to me,” said Makah Tribal Chairman Micah McCarty.
“His death was a great shock and a tragedy.”
Makah Tribal Councilman Blanchard Matte said Davis was a tribal member and commercial fisherman who had just bought a boat.
He said Davis probably was returning from Seattle on Wednesday after buying gear for halibut fishing.
According to Makah Fisheries, Davis received paperwork Feb. 27 on his 51-foot fishing boat Cruel Mistress, showing that it was registered with the Coast Guard.
He also was given notice then that he had been approved by the tribal chairman to be a tribal fisherman.
In a March 2002 story in the Peninsula Daily News, Davis recalled two days battling harsh seas as a crewman aboard the 43-foot halibut fishing boat Last Watch.
“We really did our job — to keep the boat afloat and not lose the load,” he said, complimenting his fellow crew members.
State Patrol Sgt. Ken Przygocki said the department is awaiting results of a toxicology report to see if Davis had anything in his system when he crashed.
His mother, Donna Dewey, said that a blood test done at Forks Community Hospital before Davis was airlifted to Seattle showed no drugs or alcohol.