Shine: Port Ludlow motorcyclist killed when log truck hits him near Hood Canal Bridge

SHINE — A 57-year-old Port Ludlow man was killed early Tuesday morning when his motorcycle was struck by a log truck approaching the Hood Canal Bridge.

Charles L. Virdell was on his morning commute to the Kingston-Edmonds ferry when his motorcycle was struck while turning off Paradise Bay Road onto state Highway 104.

The traffic death is the 13th on North Olympic Peninsula roads this year — equal to the 13 killed on Peninsula streets and highways all of last year.

Witnesses said it appeared that Virdell was trying to outrun the log truck to beat it onto the floating bridge, State Patrol Sgt. Galin Hester said.

Virdell’s blue 2002 BMW K1200 RS motorcycle was clipped by the left front bumper of the 1994 Kenworth tractor, and the motorcyclist fell underneath, Hester said.

Alcohol was not a factor in the 5:15 a.m. crash, Hester said.

“It appears this was completely driver error,” he added.

The driver of the log truck, Kenneth R. Fraker of Forks, slammed on his brakes and pulled to the side of the road.

The fully loaded truck skidded to a stop just before the downhill approach to the Hood Canal Bridge, about 200 feet past the Paradise Bay Road intersection.

Fraker, 39, was wearing a seat belt and was uninjured.

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