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Belfair man may be charged with vehicular homicide

t 21-year-old Cole Satran ‘looked down’ just before fatal SR-3 crash.

The Washington State Patrol is recommending that a 21-year-old Belfair man who caused a five-car collision on State-Route 3 last week that killed one man be charged with vehicular homicide.

Spokeswoman Trooper Krista Hedstrom said the investigation into the Oct. 9 crash is still ongoing and upon its completion, the WSP will be forwarding the case on to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office for possible charges.

Cole R. Satran was arrested following the collision and appeared in Kitsap County Superior Court on one count of possessing an explosive device.

According to the probable cause statement filed by the WSP, the collision occurred at 6:52 a.m. Oct. 9 when Satran, driving a 1993 Nissan pick-up truck northbound on SR-3 near the Bremerton National Airport, crossed the centerline in front of a semi-truck headed southbound.

When first contacted by a trooper, Satran reportedly said he “looked down,” then could not remember what happened after that. When interviewed later about the crash, Satran reportedly said he had been reaching down to turn on his radio shortly before the collision.

After Satran’s truck crossed the centerline, Hedstrom said that the semi-truck swerved to avoid hitting the pick-up, striking and crushing a GMC Yukon.

The driver of the Yukon, 42-year-old Thomas Gamblin of Belfair, died at the scene.

Part of the semi also landed on a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse. According to a county traffic investigator who arrived on scene shortly after the crash, the Mitsubishi was completely covered and occupants of the semi did not realize the vehicle was underneath their truck until they heard the driver screaming for help.

After personnel from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue arrived, a volunteer firefighter said it took two hours to extricate the 24-year-old Belfair man from the crushed car. He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The fifth car, a 1994 Toyota pick-up, struck the semi. While the vehicle was totaled, the driver was uninjured.

The occupants of the semi — a driver and two passengers — suffered only minor injuries.

Satran was transported to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton for a possible broken leg, but was released that afternoon and subsequently arrested.

While WSP investigators were clearing the accident scene and a tow truck arrived to remove Satran’s pick-up truck, a trooper reportedly discovered a “large bag containing what he believed was a pipe bomb.”

Members of the WSP bomb squad were then called to the scene, and Hedstrom said by 2 p.m. the device had been safely removed.

During the investigation, the roadway was blocked and traffic detoured for 11 hours.

According to court documents, Satran is a convicted felon and his driver’s license is currently revoked in the first-degree for being a “habitual offender.”

Following the crash, officers with the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms searched Satran’s home and reportedly removed two rifles and a box of .22 ammunition.

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