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Report for Washington State Patrol



A Vancouver man died March 15, 2007, when he was involved in a four vehicle accident on State Route 14 in North Bonneville. The accident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. and the roadway was closed for six hours.

According to the report, a 1987 Acura driven by Brandon P. Smoak, 17, Vancouver was eastbound on SR 14 near milepost 38, when he attempted to pass a semi truck. Three Harley Davidson motorcycles driven by Douglas A. Ruge, 58, Ridgefield, Steven C. Stein, 56, Vancouver, and Michael C. Banta, 67, King City, Ore., were traveling westbound on SR 14.

The Acura collided with the left side of Ruge's Harley, causing that motorcycle to swerve right, collided with the guardrail and came to rest on the right shoulder. The Acura then collided with the Harley driven by Stein. Stein was thrown from his vehicle, which came to rest on the eastbound shoulder. The Harley driven by Banta was damaged by flying debris and came to rest on the westbound shoulder.

Ruge suffered a broken leg in the accident and was life flighted to Southwest Washington Medical Center. Stein was dead at the scene. Smoak and Banta were not injured in the accident.

Charges in the accident are pending further investigation.

A Goldendale man was cited for negligent driving following a one vehicle accident on SR 14 at milepost 143, 10 miles east of Roosevelt.

The accident occurred on March 19, 2007, at 10:34 p.m.

According to the report, a 1989 Cadillac Seville driven by Nathan J. Braswell, 29, Goldendale, was traveling westbound on SR 14. Braswell fell asleep and drove across the eastbound lane. The vehicle then left the roadway striking a guard rail. The vehicle overturned several times coming to rest in the ditch between the highway and the railroad tracks.

Braswell had lacerations to his head. Jessica A. Downing, 27, Goldendale, had possible internal injuries and is pregnant. A juvenile male suffered lacerations. All three were transported to Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale.


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