The Port Townsend man accused of causing a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 101 near Discovery Bay that left two people injured earlier this month pleaded not-guilty to vehicular assault Friday in …
The Port Townsend man accused of causing a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 101 near Discovery Bay that left two people injured earlier this month pleaded not-guilty to vehicular assault Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court.
Mark Anthony Raney, 64, was charged with a single felony count in the March 12 crash.
Raney has been in Jefferson County Jail in Port Hadlock on $10,000 bail since his arrest following the collision.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Raney was driving south on Highway 101 when his 2002 Ford Explorer crossed the centerline and hit a 2000 Kia Sportage.
The driver of the Kia, a 51-year-old Silverdale man, and his passenger, a 46-year-old Silverdale woman, were both taken to Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
A witness who had been driving behind Raney said he first noticed the Ford Explorer when it was on East Washington Street in Sequim and was going 15 mph in a 30 mph zone.
The witness said the Ford traveled in and out of its lane on the highway, and was going slower, then faster, than the speed limit of 55 mph.
Near Milepost 279 on US 101, just north of Point Discovery, the driver behind Raney said “he had seen the Explorer take off,” according to a WSP statement of probable cause.
About 2 or 3 minutes later, the witness saw a cloud of dust on the highway ahead when the Ford crashed into the Kia.
The witness told the State Patrol he had stayed on the highway past the turnoff to his house to follow the Explorer “because its driving was that bad.”
When the witness stopped at the crash site, a passenger in his vehicle got out and took the keys from Raney because it appeared he was going to drive away.
Raney allegedly told police he said he had reached down to pick up some candy when he looked up and crossed the centerline of US 101.
Raney told a State Trooper he had been at Taco Bell earlier and was on his way home to Port Townsend.
He also said he had been out to get his phone fixed, but could not remember where and had lost track of time to where it became too late.
Raney’s speech was described by the arresting officer as “very slurred” and he had difficulty getting his license out of his wallet.
Raney also allegedly denied drinking “and said he hadn’t drank in 37 years.”
He also had difficulty with numbers and was switching them around, according to the State Patrol report, “specifically with his phone number.”
When asked about a vape pen that was seen on his center console, Raney allegedly said it contained THC but added he hadn’t used it since 10 p.m. the night before.
He failed roadside sobriety tests and a judge approved a search warrant for a blood draw.
Both vehicles were totaled in the crash and were impounded by the State Patrol.
Police later learned the driver of the Kia had sustained an open fracture to his left elbow, which a doctor described as “serious.”
Conviction of vehicular assault can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.