Driver faces vehicular assault charge

Sequim Gazette staff

Raymond U. Arndt Jr. faces one count of vehicular assault after allegedly driving drunk and causing a three-car collision Feb. 11 at U.S. Highway 101 and Palo Alto Road.


The 34-year-old was driving eastbound on the highway when he crossed the center line and sideswiped one car before crashing head-on into another, according to court documents.


The Washington State Patrol already had dispatched a trooper to investigate several reports of an erratically driven vehicle matching the description of Arndt’s Saturn, but the trooper was unable to intercept the car before the collision.


Arndt’s car hit a GMC Safari van carrying three adults and three children, seriously injuring the driver, later identified as Christopher Sherwood, troopers said. Sherwood suffered a broken leg and fractured pelvis and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center following transportation to Olympic Medical Center, troopers said.


In total, seven people were injured in the collision.


Troopers said Arndt had bloodshot, watery eyes, a flushed complexion and impaired speech, and the smell of alcohol emanated from inside his car.


“The most outstanding reason that led me to believe he was impaired was his horrible driving,” one trooper wrote in his arrest report.


Arndt was charged with vehicular assault, inflicting substantial bodily harm on Sherwood by driving in a reckless manner while under the influence. His arraignment is set for Feb. 24 and he remains in custody at the Clallam County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.


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