West End: Trooper hurt after striking elk, then power pole on U.S. 101

FAIRHOLM — A close encounter with two elk on U.S. Highway 101 near Sol Duc early Monday left a State Patrol trooper pinned upside down in his patrol car with facial and arm injuries.

Trooper Alan Nelson was driving westbound on U.S. 101 about 40 minutes past midnight when he spotted an elk in the road, said State Patrol spokesman Glen Tyrrell.

Nelson, a seven-year State Patrol veteran, swerved to avoid the elk but struck another in the process, causing his patrol cruiser to leave the highway near milepost 217 and hit a power pole.

That impact made his car flip on its top, pinning Nelson inside.

He was able to summon help on his portable radio, Tyrrell said.

A nurse passing by stopped to render aid before an ambulance arrived at the scene.

Nelson was transported to Forks Community Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations to his face and arm. He was released Monday morning.

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