Monday, Oct. 21, a male, 55, died while being pursued at high speed by Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies. He died at the scene of a collision that took place at about 6:45 p.m. near milepost 34, aapproximately six miles east of Gold Bar, when the car he was driving crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head-on, and also collided with the two pursuing Sheriff’s Office vehicles, injuring two officers.
Eric J. Breum, a Skykomish man, was pulled over by two Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, he got back in his car and fled, heading east at high speed on U.S. 2 in a 1992 Chevrolet pickup when, just east of Gold Bar, he crossed the centerline and struck a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Edward McKnight, an 86-year-old Edmonds man, who was driving west. The Edmonds man was injured and transported to Valley General Hospital in Monroe with injuries described as not life threatening, and his vehicle was totaled.
In pursuit of the driver, who was believed to be intoxicated, were two Sheriff’s Department vehicles. Both vehicles collided with the deceased driver’s vehicle.
The officers, Joe Vega and Dave Casey, were both injured and taken to Valley General Hospital, and their vehicles, which were damaged, were towed.
The officers were treated and released that evening. They have been placed on administrative leave as is standard policy during the investigation. There is currently no update on the 86-year-old man. More information, including the condition of the survivors and the location at which the man was originally pulled over, as well as his rate of speed at the time of the collision, is expected in by Friday.
Two days earlier, Saturday, Oct. 19, just three miles east at milepost 37, Denis Sokolik, 22, of Federal Way, was killed in a collision that took place at about 4:14 p.m.
According to police reports, he was traveling west in a 2002 black Mercedes Benz and made an illegal pass over a double yellow line on a curve when he struck an eastbound 2005 Ford F250 pickup driven by Wayne Barnhart, 64, of East Wenatchee, an East Wenatchee city councilman. Barnhart’s truck went over the guardrail into a ditch. He was injured, as were his passengers, Bruce Bratrude, 54, and Michael Green, 70, both of East Wenatchee. Both passengers where transported to Harborview with serious injuries. The driver was taken to the Providence Colby campus and treated for a broken leg, broken ribs and a bruised face.
In the car with Sokolik was Miroslavay Chernyak, 22, also of Federal Way. She was injured and transported to Providence Hospital at the Colby campus. She was pregnant and gave birth at the hospital; her condition and that of the child weren’t known. The road was closed for three hours and 45 minutes.