One injured in high speed pursuit

Sequim Gazette


A high-speed chase Sunday night involving two motorcycles traveling up to 138 mph began in Sequim and ended in a head-on collision near Discovery Bay.

Ryan S. Doherty, 23, of Lakewood, and Spencer S. Phillips, both face possible charges of eluding a police vehicle after police said they passed more than a dozen cars illegally and traveled more than twice the speed limit while trying to flee pursuing Sequim Police Department and Washington State Patrol vehicles.

Red light run, speeding sparks chase

Sequim Police Officer Grant Dennis said in a probable cause statement he attempted to stop two motorcycles near the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and River Road just before 9 p.m. Sunday after he saw them run a red light at the Carlsborg Road intersection.


Before the red light violation Dennis saw both motorcycles exceeding the speed limit and passing vehicles for several miles, he said.


With his lights and sirens activated, Dennis pursued the motorcycles, which slowed down as they hit traffic congestion, he said. They passed the traffic in a no-passing zone and continued at speeds in excess of 105 mph, he said.


“I estimate approximately 15 vehicles were overtaken during the course of the pursuit,” he said.

State Patrol joins chase

In Gardiner, near the Gardiner Beach Road intersection, a trooper clocked the motorcycles traveling 138 mph, Trooper Krista Hedstrom said.


The trooper joined the chase in front of Dennis’ police car.


When the pursuit approached Discovery Bay, Phillips struck an oncoming car driven by William Young, 49, of Port Townsend, while attempting an illegal pass, according to a State Patrol memo.


Phillips’ motorcycle slid, crashing into a guardrail and coming to rest on the northbound shoulder of the highway after the pursuing trooper struck the motorcycle. Neither the trooper’s car nor Young’s car sustained damage and neither driver was injured, troopers said.


Phillips suffered leg injuries and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Phillips was listed in satisfactory condition Monday afternoon, according to a Harborview spokesman.


Dennis said prior to being transported to the hospital, Phillips told police he didn’t stop because he couldn’t afford the speeding ticket.

Deputy stops second motorcyclist

Doherty was found by a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy a few miles away at Uncas Road about 40 minutes later. He was taken into custody on investigation of eluding a police vehicle.

After transporting Doherty to the Sequim Police Department for questioning, Doherty told police he had been charged with reckless driving in the past and didn’t want to be charged again, Dennis said.


Doherty was booked into the Clallam County jail on investigation of felony eluding and later released on personal recognizance. As part of his terms of release he is not allowed to drive.


Patrick Sullivan, of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, contributed to this report.


Reach Amanda Winters at



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