Patrol seeks help with fatal crash investigation

— The Washington State Patrol is seeking witnesses to events leading to a Jan. 16 fatal crash involving a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

At the invitation of Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal, the patrol’s Major Accident Investigation Team has assumed primary investigative responsibility collision 18 miles northeast of Waterville on state Highway 172. The site is west of Mansfield.

Robin H. Foster, 27, was killed about 3:29 p.m. when his pickup truck collided with a full-sized, unmarked SUV driven by on-duty deputy Richard M. Poppie, 42. Both are from Waterville.

Foster was thrown from his vehicle. It’s not known if he was wearing a seatbelt, or if drugs or alcohol were involved, the patrol said. He died at the scene.

Poppie was taken to Confluence Health in Wenatchee for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Foster was westbound on Road C N.W. and attempting to enter state Highway 172. Poppie was northbound on the highway. His unmarked SUV struck Foster’s vehicle in the intersection.

Foster’s truck came to rest on the southbound shoulder of the highway. Poppie’s vehicle came to rest on its side on the northbound shoulder.

Okanogan County deputy Kevin Arnold responded to the crash as the nearest law enforcement officer available, Sheriff Frank Rogers said.

The patrol said its Major Accident Investigation Team responds to collisions statewide from its office in Monroe. The unit is staffed with collision reconstruction detectives and will be investigating the crash using the human, vehicle, environment model to determine what caused the crash.

As part of the investigation, detectives are seeking witnesses who may have seen any events leading up to or the actual crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Jerry Cooper at 360-805-1192 or Detective Ed Collins at 360-805-1195.


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