Four people lost their lives and nine others were injured in alcohol related collisions throughout District 8 over the weekend.
In 2010, troopers throughout District 8 responded to 2,361 collisions – 205 of those had alcohol and/or drug use listed as a contributing factor. Last year, troopers throughout the district arrested 1,703 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
“These tragic, needless deaths, and the injuries to nine other people again illustrates the unacceptable risks and consequences of driving while impaired”, said District 8 Commander Bob Johnson. “The cost to these families, the innocent parties, and society as a whole is immeasurable.”
The first incident occurred in Shelton shortly after 10:00 pm on Saturday night, when a trooper attempted to stop a 1996 Dodge Intrepid for speed and an equipment violation. The driver failed to stop and led the trooper on a 5 mile pursuit along State Route 102. The vehicle lost control and drove off the roadway to the left before striking several small trees. The driver, 24 year-old Cristobal Ramos-Pablo of Shelton was treated at Mason General Hospital for minor facial injuries and abrasions. His passenger, a 16 year-old Shelton female was treated at Mason General Hospital for facial injuries. Troopers arrested Ramos-Pablo at the hospital after his release, and he was booked into the Mason County Jail. He faces charges of Felony Eluding, DUI, and Driving While License Suspended 3rd Degree.
Early Sunday morning in Mason County, troopers responded to a one car collision shortly after 3:00 am which claimed three young lives. 21 year-old James Schuchard of Port Orchard was driving a 1990 Chevy Corsica southbound on State Route 3 just north of Allyn. He lost control of his vehicle in a curve and left the roadway. The vehicle struck a tree before rolling onto its top. Three young men were pronounced dead at the scene – 22 year-old Bryan Blackburn, 20 year-old Daniel Tedder and 20 year-old Tyler Jankunas. 18 year-old Benjamin Blackburn was transported to Mason General Hospital and has since been released. Mr. Schuchard was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is currently listed in satisfactory condition. He faces charges of Vehicular Homicide.
On Sunday morning in Clallam County, troopers responded at approximately 8:00 am to a two vehicle collision on State Route 112, 7 miles west of Port Angeles. 24 year-old Amber Steim was driving her 2005 Toyota pickup westbound, when she crossed over the centerline and struck an eastbound 1994 Chevy pickup driven by 44 year-old Ellen DeBondt, a registered nurse at Olympic Medical Center. DeBondt was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a seatbelt. Steim was transported to Olympic Medical Center for minor injuries. After treatment, she was released to troopers and was booked into the Clallam County Jail. She faces charges of Vehicular Homicide. A passenger in Steim’s vehicle, 27 year-old Nicole Boucher, received minor injuries.
In Kitsap County on Sunday evening, troopers responded to a two car collision on State Route 3 near Belfair Auto Wrecking shortly after 4:00 pm. John C. Rogers, 52 years-old from Bremerton, was driving his 1994 Mercury Cougar southbound, when he rear-ended a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that had slowed to make a left turn. The driver of the Jeep, 24 year-old Naomi Hyatt suffered a back injury and was evaluated at the scene. Her passenger, 27 year-old Kassandra Jadin was evaluated at the scene for head and neck injuries. Mr. Rogers suffered an injury to his forehead. He was treated at the scene and later booked into the Kitsap County Jail on charges of DUI, Driving While License Suspended 2nd Degree and Failure to Install an Ignition Interlock Device.