Two WSDOT employees injured in crash near Port Gamble

Intoxicants believed to be a factor in the collision

Two Washington Department of Transportation employees were injured in a crash on Wheeler Street Thursday morning.

The two were working within a designated WSDOT work zone along the right side of Wheeler Street, when a red 1997 Mazda B23 pickup, driven by a 56-year-old Poulsbo man, drifted onto the shoulder and struck a lowboy trailer near where the two employees had been working.

The employees sustained minor injuries according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chelsea Hodgson, and were transferred to Harrison Hospital.

The driver’s vehicle was impounded while the WSDOT vehicle was able to be driven from the scene.

According to troopers, the driver appeared to have been driving while intoxicated. Initially, the driver was arrested on charges of vehicular assault, DUI and reckless endangerment, however charges have been declined by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office pending the results of blood testing.

“On our end, we believe impairment was a factor,” Hodgson said, noting that it is fairly standard procedure for charges to be declined and then re-submitted after the results of a blood test are returned.

With a hefty backlog of pending blood tests, Hodgson said it could take WSP’s Toxicology Lab, some six months to return the results.

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