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Deputy’s car catches fire after crash

A Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy’s patrol car caught fire after crashing on Riddell Road Thursday afternoon. He swerved to avoid a car which pulled out in front of him on the way to an emergency call. He sustained no injuries, but his car is a total loss. - Photo by Jesse Beals
A Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy’s patrol car caught fire after crashing on Riddell Road Thursday afternoon. He swerved to avoid a car which pulled out in front of him on the way to an emergency call. He sustained no injuries, but his car is a total loss.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Attempting to avoid crashing into a driver pulling out in front of him on the way to an emergency call, a Sheriff’s deputy crashed up and over cement jersey barriers on Riddell Road in Bremerton just after 3 p.m. Thursday.

The patrol car’s engine then caught fire and spread into the passenger compartment. The deputy escaped the car, a Ford Police Interceptor-model Crown Victoria, with minor burns caused by the airbag deploying, according to another deputy on the scene. The other driver was unharmed.

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue responded and used more than 50 gallons of water to put the fire out, according to Capt. Robert Law.

“The engine compartment was fully involved,” he said.

Marvin Rosand of Spanaway was traveling eastbound on Riddell Road in front of the driver who pulled out in front the deputy, an 11-year veteran. He saw her attempting to make a left turn off Riddell into Redwood Plaza. Rosand said he then witnessed her pull toward the right shoulder as the deputy came eastbound on Riddell with his lights on when she suddenly turned left into the deputy’s path.

“He hit a sign and went flying over the cement boundary (on the right side of the road),” Rosand said. “Then it caught on fire.”

“It burst into flames, it was horrible,” added eyewitness Lynda Rogers of East Bremerton.

The deputy apparently clipped the vehicle, but was able to avoid hitting her.

“She pulled right in front of him, he tried to avoid her. He did a very good job,” Rogers said. “That (deputy) did an outstanding job. He just avoided everyone else and got out of there.”

The Kitsap County Fire Marshal was called to the scene to determine what exactly caused the engine to burst into flames. The car and most of the equipment inside, valued at $35,000, was a total loss.

It was not verified by press time, but the deputy may have been on his way to the scene of a robbery at Kitsap Bank on Wheaton Way which was reported just before 3 p.m.

The suspect is described as a white male with dark hair and a goatee wearing a white T-shirt and dark sweats. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, reportedly on a bicycle.

This is the third time in seven months the Wheaton Way branch has been robbed.

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