POULSBO — A motorcyclist died Sept. 27 from injuries sustained in a collision with a vehicle that investigators say crossed from the opposing lane into the motorcyclist’s lane, on State Route 3 near Big Valley Road.
The motorcyclist was later identified by Washington State Patrol as Arthur H. Giddings, 76, of Yelm. He was declared dead at the scene, state patrol reported.
The driver of the other vehicle, Michael H. Keen, 58, of Silverdale, was transported to Harrison Medical Center and then booked into Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide. Bail is set at $350,000.
The collision occurred about 10:15 a.m. A preliminary report states that Keen was driving his Honda Accord south on Highway 3 when it crossed the double yellow line just north of Lofall and struck Giddings’ BMW R1200 motorcycle, which was traveling in the opposing lane.
“Basically, [the motorcycle] was traveling toward the Hood Canal Bridge, the car was traveling toward Poulsbo,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Scott Gordon said at the scene. “At this point, it looks like the car crossed over the double-yellow center line and hit the motorcyclist.”
A state patrol officer initially reported that Giddings had been airlifted from the scene, but Poulsbo Fire Department spokesperson Jody Matson said the helicopter did not want to transport Giddings while CPR was being performed. After about an hour of multiple responders taking turns performing CPR and working to stabilize Giddings for transport, he was declared dead at the scene, Matson said.
The roadway was blocked for six hours and 19 minutes as officers investigated the crash.
‘Going to missed him terribly’
Gary Tabor, an elder at the Olympia Church of Christ, remembered Giddings — whose friends knew as Hank — as an active member of the church and dedicated volunteer in the community.
“He taught a class for us every week,” Tabor said. “It was called ‘The Lamplighters’ and it was [for] senior citizens. It was a Bible class, but in the course of that Bible class he often talked about people that he had helped in various ways in the community.”
According to Tabor, Giddings offered his wisdom to others as of way of providing insight and direction.
“Hank was a unique individual. He had a way about him that I really appreciated — that was he was honest with you, he would tell you what he was thinking,” Tabor said. “He was also interested in people and he asked questions about people and tried to steer people in the right direction if he had input about what was going on in their lives”
Tabor also talked about Giddings’ character and what the community would be losing with his passing.
“It was his strong belief that we are to use what God gives us to help other people,” Tabor said. “He reached out to neighbors and people in the community to help them when there were things like fires, or when they suffered losses of various kinds.”
He added, “A giving person is the way I would characterize him. He gave of his talents and his thoughts and his experience I’m going to miss him terribly. It was a real shock, but he left us lots of good memories and lots of examples that I hope that I can follow and that others would.”
— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.