Highway scares

— image credit:
Sequim Gazette staff

One patient was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center following a four-vehicle mishap on U.S. Highway 101 near Guiles Road on Monday, June 13.


James Alan Belardi was extricated from his truck by firefighters from Clallam County Fire District 3 who used the Jaws of Life.


A report issued by Washington State Patrol, which responded to the incident, indicates Belardi had an arm injury.


Police reports, witnesses and other drivers involved in the accident say Belardi was traveling east on U.S. Highway 101 at approximately 11:30 a.m. when he crossed over the center line. Belardi’s Ford clipped the driver-side mirror of a Dodge minivan driven by Penelope Hansen of Sequim. Hansen’s window shattered.


Belardi then struck the rear wheels of the tractor of an 18-wheeler driven by David Dearing of Sequim.

Dearing, a driver for Atlas Trucking, managed to retain control of the truck, bringing it safely to a stop on the side of Highway 101. “Thank God I was able to save it,” Dearing said.


Steve Ragsdale, co-owner of Sunshine Herb and Lavender Farm, said the collision sounded like “a huge explosion.” Jay Dodaro, who lives across the highway from Sunshine, echoed Ragsdale’s comment, saying, “I heard a noise like I never heard before.”


Belardi then sideswiped a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Kathleen Faias of Sequim, causing extensive damage to the Pathfinder and forcing it off the road into an adjacent field.


The report by the State Patrol says a fifth vehicle was forced to the shoulder to avoid a collision with Belardi’s truck.


Other than Belardi’s, no serious injuries were reported.


Washington State Patrol says there is no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.
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