UPDATE — Woman killed in head-on collision was Makah elder
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Washington State Patrol photo
A 2003 Ford Taurus, left, driven by Mary Jo Butterfield, reportedly crossed the centerline of state Highway 112 and collided with a 1999 Nissan Sentra driven by Randee R. Murdoch of Sekiu, the State Patrol reported.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

SEKIU — A Makah elder was killed and a Sekiu woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with major leg injuries today after a head-on collision between two cars on state Highway 112.

Mary Jo Butterfield, 81, of Neah Bay was prounounced dead at Forks Community Hospital, the State Patrol confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

“It looks like the woman who died crossed the centerline into the path of the other vehicle,” said Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman

The injured driver was identified as Randee R. Murdoch, 24, of Sekiu.

She was listed in critical condition at Harborview as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a Harborview spokeswoman.

The wreck occurred on state Highway 112 near Milepost 10 and the intersection with Vista Drive.

Butterfield was a tribal elder, a former member of the Makah Tribal Council and an active member of the Makah Tribal Senior Center, said June Williams, who worked with Butterfield on the senior center committee and on community projects.

“That woman was very dynamic. She was a lady before her time,” Williams said.

She also was a foster parent and worked with schools and youth, she said.

Williams said she was working with Butterfield on a project to work with teenage girls, a program that was supposed to begin over the holidays.

“She will really be missed. She had so many ideas for our community,” Williams said.

There were no passengers with either driver, Winger said.

The wreck was reported at 9:53 a.m., and the investigation was continuing well into the afternoon, he said.

Initially, both lanes of traffic were closed, but one lane was reopened for alternating traffic during the investigation.

The road was fully reopened at about 3 p.m., Winger said.

Firefighters from Clallam County Fire District No. 5 responded to the wreck and were assisted by paramedics from the Neah Bay Fire Department, said District No. 5 Fire Chief Patricia Hutson.

Highway 112 is known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Highway and links Port Angeles with Neah Bay along the Strait of Juan de Fuca coastline.
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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.


Earlier report:

SEKIU — A Neah Bay woman was killed and a Sekiu woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with major leg injuries today after a head-on collision between two cars on state Highway 112 west of Sekiu.

Identities of the two women have not been released because family members have not been notified, said Trooper Russ Winger, State Patrol spokesman.

“It looks like the woman who died crossed the centerline into the path of the other vehicle,” Winger said.

The wreck was reported at 9:53 a.m. and the investigation was continuing at 2 p.m., he said.

Initially both lanes of traffic were closed, but one lane was reopened for alternating traffic.

Highway 112, the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Highway, links Port Angeles with Neah Bay along the Strait of Juan de Fuca coastline.

The collision occurred near the highway's intersection with Vista Drive about 10 miles west of the Makah Reservation.

Last modified: October 30. 2013 6:59PM
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