Second patient released after tree vs. SUV collision at Lake Crescent

PORT ANGELES — The driver of an SUV that was struck by a falling tree on U.S. Highway 101 at Lake Crescent on New Year’s Day has been discharged from Harborview Medical Center.

Robert Young, 51, was released from the Seattle hospital Monday, a nursing supervisor said. He is the second survivor of the fatal accident to be discharged from Harborview.

Serious condition

Two other family members who were riding in the SUV remained in serious condition in Harborview’s intensive care unit, a nursing supervisor said Monday.

Dezman Harper, 5, died when an evergreen tree about 20 inches in diameter struck the vehicle on the southwest shore of Lake Crescent near La Poel, authorities said.

Harper and his family were headed home to Federal Way after visiting a longtime friend on the West End for the holidays, authorities said.

All four surviving family members were taken to Harborview after the accident.

Two-year-old Tharon Sluharty, who was riding in the backseat with Harper, was discharged from the hospital Jan. 4.

Julie Young, 50, who was riding in the front seat, was listed in serious condition Monday. She had been in critical condition one week after the wreck.

Isabella “Bella” Young, 5, was listed in serious in the days after the accident and remained in serious condition Monday.

Back surgery

Bella had surgery for a broken back on the day of the accident and is paralyzed from the waist down, according to a relative.

A GoFundMe account to help with funeral and medical expenses is at

The accident was reported at 2:16 p.m. Jan. 1 near Milepost 223.

After being struck by the tree, the SUV slid an estimated 100 feet on the icy road before stopping, Clallam County Fire District No. 2 Chief Sam Phillips has said.

Clallam County Fire Districts 2 and 4, the State Patrol, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service responded to the scene.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula

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