Topic: Washington State Patrol
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November 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM
The (Centralia) Chronicle
People traveling on Interstate 5 for Thanksgiving should expect to see more law-enforcement officers this holiday weekend.
Three state police agencies from Washington, Oregon and California are issuing a challenge to commuters: Arrive alive on I-5 this holiday weekend, according to a news release from the Washington State Patrol.
The tri-state campaign means that Wednesday through Sunday, state law enforcement from San Diego north to Bellingham will be targeting education and enforcement efforts on the road, according to the news release.
The agencies will specifically focus on collision-causing violations known to be factors in fatal collisions, such as speed; aggressive, distracted and impaired driving; as well as failure to wear a seat belt.
State patrol advises holiday travelers to slow down, have patience, drive sober and buckle up.
November 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM
The Asscciated Press
PRESTON — The Washington State Patrol says a trooper was out of his car and not hurt Monday morning when the patrol car was hit by a pickup on Interstate 90 near Preston.
The patrol says the trooper was investigating a previous collision about 7 a.m. when the truck lost control while changing lanes and hit the car on the shoulder.
The truck driver, a 40-year-old Seattle man, also was not injured.
November 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM
The Associated Press
New figures from the Washington State Patrol show that more drivers have tested positive for marijuana since the state legalized the drug last year.
In the first six months of 2013, the patrol’s crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.
Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins says it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s been a rash of people driving high. He says troopers are looking harder for drivers operating under the influence of pot, and they might be ordering more marijuana blood tests.
Of the 745 people who tested positive for marijuana in the first half of this year, the State Patrol says a majority tested above the legal limit of 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. The exact number was 420.
Just as state law limits drivers to a .08 blood alcohol content, it limits them to 5 nanograms of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient. Specially trained drug-recognition experts, or “DREs,” are often called to traffic stops to determine whether drivers are impaired.
November 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM
The collision that resulted in the death of Washington State Patrol Trooper Sean O’Connell in Skagit County in May was a “tragic accident” caused by multiple factors, according to the State Patrol.“There was no one single cause for this tragedy,” Capt. Charles LeBlanc, commander of the Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division, wrote in a news release. “There was a combination of circumstances that led to a horrific end.”
On May 31, O’Connell was on his motorcycle in Conway, checking the length of a traffic backup on the detour set up around the collapsed Skagit River Bridge. He was riding on the shoulder, outside of the fog line, and attempting to pass a box truck on the right-hand side when the truck made a right turn and hit the trooper, investigators said.
O’Connell, 38, was killed.
Investigators said the driver did not see O’Connell, who was not using his emergency lights and siren at the time of the collision, in keeping with agency training.
LeBlanc said experience has shown that some drivers, upon hearing a siren, make sudden maneuvers to the right. If troopers are forced to pass on the right, they generally turn off their emergency lights and sirens to avoid being hit, according to the State Patrol.
“The reason we have motorcycles is precisely because they can maneuver around traffic,” LeBlanc said. “”Passing on the right is something our troopers are trained to do in the performance of their duties, and like many of our duties, it involves risks.”
A guard rail prevented O’Connell from pulling away from the truck, the State patrol found. After striking the box truck, O’Connell fell underneath it.
“A couple of seconds in time, or a couple of feet either way, and we’d likely have had a very different outcome,” LeBlanc said
The State Patrol said the truck driver agreed to a voluntary blood test for alcohol or drugs, and there is no evidence he was impaired in any way. He cooperated fully in the investigation.
No citations have been issued and no charges are being sought, the State Patrol said.
Thousands attended O’Connell’s June memorial service in Everett. He had been with the patrol for 16 years.
November 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM
Recruits at the state police academy in Burien broke a rule when they shared study guides between classes, but the violations didn’t rise to the level of cheating or dishonesty, according to preliminary results of a Washington State Patrol investigation.
The result, which revealed sloppy test practices, relate to one class of recruits that was allowed to graduate today, with all 29 recruits receiving a written reprimand that will be provided to their respective law-enforcement agencies to consider further action.
The investigation will be completed over the next two weeks into 29 recruits in a second class also implicated in the matter, the academy said in a statement released today by Executive Director Sue Rahr, of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
Rahr asked the State Patrol to look into allegations of cheating after a recruit came forward three weeks ago and reported that recruits in two of three classes were sharing material from a computer thumb drive — a small, portable data-storage device — containing information from a study guide. The guide included test questions and answers for multiple exams, the academy said.
The State Patrol, which runs its own training academy, was asked to conduct the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.
While the findings apply to one class of recruits, they also appear to cover the second class, Rahr said in an email.
The investigation made it clear that the questions and answers were legitimately obtained by the recruits when training officers conducted “overly specific” review sessions in the days before tests were administered, according to the academy’s statement.
Training officers discussed actual test questions and answers, the statement said. Recruits took verbatim notes on their laptop computers and added material to class study guides that was electronically stored by various means, including thumb drives.
These practices were “not a good training method” and have been stopped, the statement said.
November 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM
The Associated Press
The Washington State Patrol says the second of twin girls involved in a highway crash on Oct. 31 near Anacortes has died.
The patrol says 17-year-old Janesah Goheen died Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was taken for treatment after a two-car collision on State Highway 20.
Her sister, Janeah Goheen, died at the scene. An 18-year-old friend, Alysha Pickler, was also injured in the crash.
The driver of the other vehicle, Ira Blackstock, is being held in Skagit County Jail.
The Skagit Valley Herald says Blackstock has already been charged with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. Troopers suspect he was impaired.
November 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM
A Porsche Panamera crashed into a Mercer Island building late Friday and burst into flames after a high-speed chase by the State Patrol.
The car reached speeds of 140 mph, according to the Mercer Island Fire Department, before it exited Interstate 90 and slammed into a building in the 3000 block of Island Crest Way just before 11:30 p.m.
The driver and a passenger in the vehicle were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The car fire did not spread to the building, which contains several medical offices, according to the Fire Department. Damage estimates were not available.
November 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM
The Associated Press
BELLEVUE — A Washington State Patrol trooper suffered minor injuries when his car was struck on Interstate 405 in Bellevue.
The patrol says the trooper was investigating a crash at the interchange with I-90 Sunday evening when the patrol car was hit by another car. The patrol car was on the shoulder with lights activated.
The trooper was sent home to recover. The other driver and a passenger were not injured.
Possible charges are pending.
October 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM
For the second day in a row, a woman has gone into labor on northbound Interstate 5 in the Seattle area during the morning commute.
The commute was slowed just after 8 a.m. while medics tended to a 33-year-old woman on I-5 at Albro Place, said State Patrol Trooper Chris Webb.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it two times in two days,” said Webb.
Seattle Fire Department medics took the woman to Swedish Medical Center in time to have her baby, her fourth.
On Wednesday, another medic crew raced another mother from I-5 to Swedish while she was also in the advanced stages of labor.
In that case, the 22-year-old woman made it to the hospital in time to have her baby, according to the Tukwila Fire Department.
October 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM
The Washington State Patrol is reporting, via Twitter, that a motorcycle driver was killed in an accident on I-5 near Southcenter on Sunday evening, around 5:47 p.m.
According to WSP trooper Chris Webb, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger on the motorcycle was taken to Harborview and is in stable condition.
Investigators suspect alcohol was a factor, Webb wrote.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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