News

Snowstorm closes schools, snarls traffic

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

Up to eight inches of snow fell in parts of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley during a two-day snowstorm last week, causing school closures and a string of car accidents.

 

Snow started to fall just before noon Feb. 23 and didn’t stop until late the next day. Roads were slick and visibility was poor most of the afternoon and evening Feb. 23 during heavy snowfall. Between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. dispatchers received 41 traffic-related calls in Sequim and Port Angeles. In just two hours, from 1-3 p.m., PenCom dispatched 26 car accident and traffic hazard calls, including a fatal car accident on U.S. Highway 101 at Morse Creek.

Port Angeles man dies

A Port Angeles man was killed Feb. 23 in a two car collision on the Morse Creek Bridge that tied up traffic for nearly three hours beginning at 1:01 p.m..

 

Washington State Patrol Trooper Krista Hedstrom said Hugh McLennan, 83, died on the scene after his 1991 Infiniti G20 crossed the center line and struck head-on the 1997 Ford driven by Rexx Ingalls, 20, of Sequim.

 

Ingalls was taken to Olympic Medical Center for back, neck and abdominal pain. He was treated and released.

 

Both drivers were wearing seat belts and both vehicles were totaled. Hedstrom said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

 

Traffic was stalled from 1-4 p.m.

Schools close

After-school activities were closed Feb. 23 after the heavy snowfall began. The Boys & Girls Club in Sequim closed as well.

 

Sequim School District called off its sessions on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24-25, due to inclement weather.

 

The district had three snow days available and had used two of them previously. In the coming weeks, the school board will vote to add to or extend the calendar by one more session before school is out.

 

Port Angeles schools operated on a two-hour delay Feb. 24 and were closed Feb. 25.

 

Sequim schools had a two-hour-late start Monday as snow fell during the morning but quickly melted.

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

 

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