Olalla man dies after driving a truck into a fir tree

Douglas Alan Young, 62, died early Tuesday evening in Olalla, after he drove a 2001 Chevorlet pick-up truck into a large fir tree, according to Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputies.

He died on private property at the 9300 block of Orchard Avenue SE, between Millenix Road and Fragaria Road.

Sheriff’s patrol deputies and emergency crews were dispatched at 7:13 p.m. for a driver with “serious injuries.” Aid workers tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m.

Young had been using his truck to pull tree stumps out of the ground, when the rope behind the truck broke, causing the truck to lunge forward and crash into the tree, according to initial evidence from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

The engine revved loudly, then smashed the tree, causing it’s trunk, 20 inches in diameter, to bow forward and nearly strike the ground before straightening, according to witnesses.

“The intrusion of the tree into the truck’s engine compartment encompassed the entire diameter of the tree,” according to the sheriff’s office, and debris was scattered up to 50 feet south from of the impact.

The Kitsap County Coroner's Office found, Thursday, that "blunt force trauma to the chest" was the cause of death.

The manner of death is still pending.

It could, potentially, be: natural causes, homicide, suicide, accidental or “other.”

Initially, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office suspected that it was “accidental,” but the final determination hasn't yet been made. 

“Initially, we thought that the rope broke, and the car lunged forward and hit the tree in front of it,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, a public information officer with the sheriff’s office. “Now, we’re not so sure.”

Deputies don’t think criminal activity factored into the death.

“Right now, it looks like it’s accidental,” Wilson said, “but there may be some other aspects to it.”

There was evidence to suggest that it was an accident, Wilson said.

A rope had been tied to the truck’s trailer hitch, and work had been done around the stump to indicate that Young wanted to remove it.


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