OLALLA — A truck traveling at the 5100 block of SE Burley Olalla Road in South Kitsap Jan. 2 lost control, careened off a guardrail and struck a tree, killing the driver.
Stephen Anthony DeMark, 74, a resident of Tacoma, was pronounced dead at the scene by South Kitsap Fire and Rescue medics.
Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies are in the early stages of their investigation, but a preliminary report indicates the Ford Ranger was traveling eastbound on SE Burley Olalla Road when it entered a curve to the left. DeMark, however, continued straight ahead onto the roadway’s eastbound shoulder, then overcorrected. The truck crossed both lanes onto the westbound roadway shoulder, then overcorrected again. The vehicle moved across both lanes to the eastbound shoulder and struck a guardrail.
DeMark’s truck then continued traveling eastbound for approximately 200 feet while in contact with the guardrail. It then crossed a roadway and up an embankment, where it struck a tree. The Ford Ranger overturned and the vehicle’s momentum came to a stop with the truck laying on the driver’s side in the eastbound land of travel and shoulder.
SKFR crews used hydraulic emergency tools to remove the truck’s roof to extricate DeMark.
Investigators reported the vehicle’s speed was not a factor in the crash, but found DeMark was not wearing his seatbelt. It’s not known if alcohol or narcotics were factors in the collision, according to investigators. Laboratory toxicology tests are being analyzed. An autopsy was conducted on Jan. 4 and the Kitsap County coroner will make a determination as to the cause and manner of death.
The portion of SE Burley Olalla Road involved in the collision was closed for about 90 minutes for the investigation.
Anyone with information about the crash are asked by the sheriff’s office to contact Dep. Dave Green, sheriff’s traffic unit, at 360-337-4634.