A six-vehicle collision blocked traffic at the Elwha River bridge on U.S. Highway 101 on Wednesday. (Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue)

A six-vehicle collision blocked traffic at the Elwha River bridge on U.S. Highway 101 on Wednesday. (Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue)

Port Angeles man accused in wreck of six vehicles; minor injuries reported

PORT ANGELES — U.S. Highway 101 was blocked for seven hours Wednesday after a six-vehicle, chain-reaction crash at the Elwha River, the State Patrol said.

Donavan Patrick Murphy, 22, of Port Angeles was arrested for investigation of vehicular assault and driving under the influence of alcohol for allegedly causing the 4:44 p.m. pileup that injured six, the State Patrol said.

Four patients were treated at Olympic Medical Center and two others were treated at the scene, according to a State Patrol collision memo.

Murphy was traveling eastbound in a 2004 Ford F150 pickup when he failed to slow down for traffic that was stopped for a flagger on the east side of the Elwha River bridge, the State Patrol said.

The pickup Murphy was driving struck a blue 2017 Hyundai Elantra driven by Alexandra R. Perryman, 28, of Sequim, according to the collision memo.

The impact caused a “domino effect” that involved four other vehicles, said Trooper Chelsea Hodgson, State Patrol spokeswoman.

The State Patrol said Murphy failed a field sobriety test and registered a 0.227-percent blood alcohol level on a voluntary breath test after the crash.

The legal driving limit in Washington is 0.08 percent.

Murphy told investigators that he was returning from Lake Crescent before the crash.

“As Murphy spoke I noted the odor of intoxicants on his breath, his eyes were bloodshot and watery,” Trooper Keith Nestor wrote in the affidavit for probable cause.

“I asked Murphy where he was drinking and he responded at the lake, and stated he was intoxicated.”

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour released Murphy on his personal recognizance Thursday.

Murphy, who is enlisted in the Coast Guard, had no criminal history or traffic violations.

As part of his conditions of release, Murphy will be required to use an interlock device before driving any vehicle and to abstain from alcohol.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson had requested a $15,000 bail for Murphy based on community safety concerns.

Prosecutors will consider filing formal charges against Murphy at his next court appearance Monday.

The state Department of Transportation said the highway was fully blocked at the Elwha River from 4:44 p.m. to 11:44 p.m.

Clallam County Fire District No. 2 used hydraulic rescue tools to remove the passenger door and roof of the vehicle that Perryman was driving.

Perryman and two juvenile passengers, ages 8 and 1, were taken to OMC.

Perryman was treated and discharged, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

Hodgson said the 1-year-old girl also was treated and discharged. The status of the 8-year-old boy was not immediately available.

Clallam County Fire District No. 2 Chief Jake Patterson and Hodgson said the injuries appeared to be non life-threatening.

There were 17 drivers and passengers involved in the wreck, all of whom were wearing seat belts, the State Patrol said.

Here is an account of the chain-reaction as described by the State Patrol:

• Murphy crashed into the Hyundai Elantra that Perryman was driving.

• The Hyundai crashed into a 2002 Ford F150 pickup driven by Jeremy J. Reed, 35, of Sequim.

Reed and two passengers, Nicole M. Russell, 25, of Sequim and an 8-year-old juvenile, were not injured.

• The pickup struck a 2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris van driven by Randall S. Shields, 66, of Granite Falls.

Shields was treated and discharged from OMC, spokeswoman Bobby Beeman said.

Two passengers in the van, Holly A. Senn, 33, and Arelia S. Senn, 69, both of West Monroe, La., were treated and discharged at the scene.

• The van struck a 1992 Jeep Cherokee driven by Corrine J. Wallen, 36, of Sequim.

Wallen and four juvenile passengers — three 13 years old and one 10 — were not injured.

• The Jeep struck a 1994 Chevrolet Blazer driven by Patricia A. Coker, 56, of Stanwood.

Coker and one passenger, Kevan E. Flataker, 44, of Everett were not injured.

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue responded with two ambulances, two fire engines and two command vehicles with a total of 17 personnel, Patterson said.

Olympic Ambulance responded with two ambulances.

Olympic National Park, the state Department of Transportation and Clallam County Sheriff’s Office also were on scene.

Eastbound traffic was stopped on the west side of the Elwha River bridge, Patterson said.

Westbound traffic was diverted onto state Highway 112 during the State Patrol investigation.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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