Tires punctured by screws sit at Les Schwab in Port Angeles. The State Patrol said Sunday that hundreds of screws were left on Highway 101 east of Port Angeles by accident after falling out of somebody’s vehicle. Photo by Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News

Tires punctured by screws sit at Les Schwab in Port Angeles. The State Patrol said Sunday that hundreds of screws were left on Highway 101 east of Port Angeles by accident after falling out of somebody’s vehicle. Photo by Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News

State Patrol: Hundreds of screws left on road accidentally

Tires punctured on 300 vehicles that traveled Highway 101 near Port Angeles

The State Patrol has determined that screws left on U.S. Highway 101 near Port Angeles that punctured tires on at least 300 vehicles last week were likely dropped onto the highway by accident.

“At this point it looks like it was unintentional,” Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said. “It’s a secure-load issue. This is a good reminder for folks to secure your load because this can happen.”

The screws began puncturing tires sometime last Monday morning, Oct. 21. Within 24 hours Les Schwab in Port Angeles and Discount Tire in Sequim had seen about 300 customers, many of whom reported picking up the screws near Morse Creek east of Port Angeles.

Hodgson said it was likely accidental. A witness told troopers that they saw a box of screws intact on the highway before it was hit, leading troopers to believe it fell out of someone’s vehicle.

Crews with the Department of Transportation arrived to the area last Monday and recovered hundreds of screws, said spokesperson Tina Werner.

It took six workers three to four hours to clear the road using a 30-pound, 4-foot-wide magnet.

“It’s important to note that when incidents like this happen, it actually takes our crews away from other scheduled maintenance activities along the highways, such as mowing and pavement repairs, that were supposed to be occurring in the area to respond to this particular scene,” Werner said.

“We need drivers to remember to secure their loads to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future so our crews can continue with other important highway work.”

Crews with the state Department of Transportation recovered hundreds of screws from U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles. Photo courtesy of State Patrol

Crews with the state Department of Transportation recovered hundreds of screws from U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles. Photo courtesy of State Patrol

Though some drivers reported picking up screws in other areas, Werner said WSDOT only recovered screws on US Highway 101 at Morse Creek.

A trooper contacted a local tire store and determined that there was only one business in the area that received a shipment of those particular screws. However, that store’s shipment arrived in full, so troopers know the driver of that truck was not responsible.

Troopers were unable to determine what vehicle dropped the load and who is responsible.

Hodgson urges anyone who sees a vehicle losing its load to call it in with information about the license plate number, a description of the vehicle and location.

“Without that kind of information it’s hard to find who’s responsible,” she said.

Anyone who fails to secure his or her load is in violation of state law and can face an infraction or criminal charges.

Hodgson said that anyone who has information can still contact the State Patrol by calling 360-473-0300. Anyone who sees an active hazard in the roadway should call 9-1-1.

More in News

WHAT WE KNOW: Coronavirus outbreak at a glance

The latest news on the pandemic, plus symptom information and prevention tips

Holiday traced to new cases of COVID-19

A total of 11 new COVID-19 cases were tallied on the North… Continue reading

Peninsula College reels from new rule aimed at international students

About 60 international students enrolled at Peninsula College for the fall quarter… Continue reading

Three new COVID-19 cases in Clallam County

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Clallam County, bringing… Continue reading

Health officers work with schools for safe reopening

North Olympic Peninsula health officials have been working with school administrators this… Continue reading

Peninsula College hosts online series, ‘Conversations Toward a Culture of Justice’

Creating a safe space for conversation and dialog during an unprecedented moment… Continue reading

Jamestown S’Klallam hotel in last stages

Workers were putting finishing touches on the new five-story 7 Cedars Hotel… Continue reading

Confirmed COVID-19 cases remain at 87 on Peninsula

Clallam and Jefferson County health officials were working to trace contacts of… Continue reading

Most Read