A man died in a single-vehicle accident Saturday, Dec. 3 on State Route 104 in Jefferson County.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Steven M. Allen, 65, of Bellevue, Washington, was driving a 2016 silver, four-door Subaru Forester eastbound (toward the Hood Canal Bridge) on SR 104. At about 9:54 p.m., the vehicle veered to the left across the two-lane highway's westbound lane, left the roadway and went into a ditch, struck several trees, coming to rest in the ditch along the westbound lane.
The wreck occurred at about milepost 5.4, between Sandy Shore Road and the Center Road overpass.
The driver was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Units from Quilcene Fire Rescue and Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue responded. According to Chief Brad Martin of Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, his first medical unit to arrive found the patient on the roadway, unconscious and in cardiac arrest. Ludlow medics took spinal precautions with the man and moved him out of the rain and into the back of an ambulance, Martin told the Leader.
Allen was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
The highway's westbound lane was closed to necessitate patient care, responder safety and apparatus placement, the chief noted. Responders also conducted a search of the woods, including the use of a thermal image camera, and found no other vehicle occupants.
Trooper Russ Winger, District 8 public information officer, said the preliminary investigation, which includes a lack of skid marks, indicates the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Autopsy results are needed to rule out medical or other influences, he noted.
"There is nothing to show that the driver was aware that he was going off the road," Winger said Dec. 6.
The vehicle was judged to be totaled and was impounded pending the investigation.
In 2015, there were eight traffic-related deaths on roadways in Jefferson County. So far in 2016, there have been three traffic-related deaths.