State Trooper is suspended after wreck

Sequim Gazette staff

Washington State Trooper Travis Beebe, a 17-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, will receive a four-day suspension and 44-total hours of driver retraining as the result of a multiple-vehicle collision in Port Angeles on Nov. 29.


Beebe, 39, will be required to successfully complete a four-hour check ride with a WSP driving instructor.


Robert Calkins a spokesman with the Washington State Patrol, said after the recent training for the November collision Beebe will be temporarily assigned to patrol Jefferson County and it is not an official change of assignment.


Beebe also will receive an additional 40 hours of driver training at the State Patrol academy with the agency’s next recruit class.


The collision occurred on U.S. Highway 101, on a curve near Morse Creek. Beebe was attempting to overtake a speeding driver, crossed the center line, and hit two other vehicles.


Three Sequim residents were involved in the incident but not injured and Tigran Gyonjyan, 34, and Vergine Gyonjyan, 9, both of Sammamish, were treated on scene for minor injuries.


“Trooper Beebe came forward and accepted responsibility for losing control of his car,” said his commander, Capt. Chris Old. “The discipline and re-training I’ve imposed are within the standard range given in these situations.”


Calkins said Beebe’s suspension and retraining is cumulative with a matrix that the State Patrol uses for incidents like this.


The Nov. 29 collision is considered a moderate level incident, the same as a May 8, 2012, incident where Beebe crashed his vehicle in pursuit of speeding motorcyclist Bjorn Robert Larsen, 35, of Port Angeles, whom he attempted to pull over on Highway 101. Larsen fled up Deer Park Road and died after he failed to navigate a left-hand turn on a narrow, winding stretch of road. Beebe was in pursuit of Larsen and also crashed into the ravine.


Calkins said there’s still a lot of misinformation about the motorcyclist incident.


“He did not hit the motorcyclist,” Calkins said. “He crashed his vehicle at the conclusion of the approved pursuit of the vehicle. He did not make contact with the motorcyclist. He simply ran off the road himself in an appropriate pursuit of the vehicle.”


“The agency supports Trooper Beebe’s decision to pursue in that case, but imposed one day off without pay for the collision at the end of the pursuit,” he said.


In 2011, Beebe was named District 8 Trooper of the Year for 2010.


The State Patrol still is seeking any witnesses to the recent collision and to contact Sgt. Jerry Cooper with the WSP State Patrol’s Major Accident Investigation Team at 360-805-1192.


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