SEQUIM — A 61-year-old Sequim woman has died in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 101 just east of Sequim, one of two major incidents on the highway on Monday.
“The traffic volumes are very high … [and] numerous drivers voiced their frustration with our crews as they performed traffic control to ensure responder and patient safety,” said Chris Turner, battalion chief with Clallam County Fire District 3.
At about 6:45 p.m., Linda M. Hopkins was heading eastbound nearing Louella Road and, according to a State Patrol report, continued straight when the roadway curved to her left.
Hopkins’ 2001 Volkswagen Jetta left the roadway between the guardrail and the ditch, then over an embankment, dropping about 40 feet and landing on its roof.
Hopkins was found dead at the scene. She was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.
Fire District 3 personnel arrived at about 6:51 p.m., reporting that the vehicle was on its top and they were attempting to contact the driver. District crews stabilized the vehicle from sliding farther down the embankment using a combination of telescoping cribbing and ratchet tie-down straps.
Crews used a 30-foot ladder slide, extrication tools, a stokes rescue basket and rope rigging in the rescue plan, they said.
State Patrol troopers shut down the highway in both directions and there were no alternate routes available to divert traffic around the incident, fire district officials said.
Sequim Police Department and Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies assisted with traffic control and communications.
Earlier the same day, a collision between a log truck and SUV closed Highway 101 near Gardiner.
Lois S. Frisch, 81, of Sequim was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by LifeFlight following the three-vehicle crash at about 11:26 a.m., the State Patrol said.
Her condition was unknown on Tuesday. A Harborview spokesperson said the hospital had no record of her being admitted there.
Frisch was on the right shoulder attempting to merge on to Highway 101 but failed to yield, colliding with a truck driven by 45-year-old Tyson J. Lohman of Carbonado, the State Patrol said in a memo.
Lohman’s truck then struck a third vehicle driven by Hannah M. Hendrickson, 23, of Port Angeles.
Frisch’s vehicle came to rest off the roadway, while the truck wound up partially blocking a lane and the third vehicle came to rest in a ditch.
The log truck was still positioned across the highway with numerous logs having spilled onto the roadway, according to Fire District 3 officials.
The roadway was blocked for about 90 minutes, the State Patrol reported.
LifeFlight landed on the closed highway, in front of the Discovery Bay RV park and took Frisch to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the State Patrol.
Lohman, a 14-year-old passenger in the truck, and Hendrickson were uninjured in the crash, the State Patrol said.
All of those involved were wearing seatbelts, according to the State Patrol.
Along with five Fire District 3 crews and a battalion chief, several other entities were on scene including Olympic Ambulance, State Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and state Department of Transportation.