A Washington State Patrol officer is in stable condition after being struck by a vehicle Tuesday morning while conducting a traffic stop on Highway 101 near Discovery Bay in Jefferson County.
The officer and driver were airlifted with serious injuries to Harborview Medical Center, Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said on Twitter. The officer was listed as stable Tuesday afternoon, while the driver remained in serious condition, according to hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg.
The state commercial vehicle enforcement officer was conducting a traffic stop at about 10 a.m. on southbound lanes just north of the Highway 104 interchange when he was hit by a man fleeing from an arson site in a stolen truck.
The incident on the highway is being investigated as vehicular assault and the driver was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence, Hodgson said.
The Seattle Times typically doesn’t name suspects until court charges are filed.
The suspect was seen earlier Tuesday morning drenching cars with gasoline outside the Longhouse Market and Deli in Sequim, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
When a witness confronted him, he sprayed them with gasoline and set a van on fire before stealing a truck and heading eastbound on Highway 101, the Sheriff’s Office said. Employees were able to shut off the fuel switch and extinguish the fire.
“You would think it would be a big explosion like you see on TV but that isn’t what happened,” said Undersheriff Ron Cameron.
All lanes reopened at 3 p.m. after being closed in both directions north of the interchange for several hours as officials investigated the scene.