Accident-Prone Trooper Is Fired

BELLEVUE - A state trooper who was involved in six accidents on the job, including one that was fatal, has been fired - but not for his driving record.

Trooper Jason Crandall was dismissed Aug. 12 after a seven-month investigation into his comments after he passed another trooper while "exceeding the speed limit" on Interstate 5, Washington State Patrol Capt. Jeffrey K. DeVere told the King County Journal.

Crandall, when asked by the other trooper where he was going, replied that he was on his way to meet a lieutenant, but the other trooper later learned that was not the case and told his commanding officer, DeVere said.

"Honesty and integrity are core values in the Washington State Patrol. When it's proven someone lies, they can no longer effectively serve," DeVere said.

Crandall has appealed the dismissal to a disciplinary review board, a process that could take months to conclude.

His accidents, including one in which Brock Loshbaugh, 22, was fatally run over while trying to cross a road in Mill Creek on the night of Feb. 19, 2002, were not factors in the firing, DeVere said.

Loshbaugh had been drinking and was not at a crosswalk, and Snohomish County prosecutors decided not to pursue criminal charges.

Crandall was found at fault for two traffic accidents in the four months before Loshbaugh died and was reprimanded for three more in the following 16 months. He never was cited for a driving infraction but lost 14 days of paid vacation, underwent remedial driver training and was reassigned from Snohomish County to south Seattle, where traffic is lighter, patrol officials said.

In January, the state apologized to Loshbaugh's parents, Dan and Melodee Loshbaugh, and agreed to pay $150,000 to settle their lawsuit over the death.

Under the Brock Loshbaugh Act, a law enacted at the family's urging, the patrol is required to establish a policy for dealing with troopers who cause serious accidents. According to a recent report, an outside investigator should be appointed when a trooper is involved in a traffic accident.