Investigation: Trooper going too fast at time of crash

Investigation: Trooper going too fast at time of crash
The 2011 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car is shown with the two other vehicles involved in a collision at the bottom of the Morse Creek "S" curve on U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles. (Photo: Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- A two-month investigation into the crash that left a trooper's car destroyed and two civilian cars damaged confirmed what the Washington State Patrol already believed: the trooper was traveling far too fast during a high-speed chase.

According to the results of the investigation released Thursday, Trooper Travis Beebe accelerated to 94 mph hour while chasing after a speeding car with a headlight out Nov. 29 on U.S. 101 near Port Angeles.

Beebe headed into a curve traveling between 70 mph and 75 mph -- 25 mph to 30 mph over the speed limit - and lost control of his car and crashed into two others, according to the Washington State Patrol.

“Even though we were fairly certain what happened, I asked [the Major Accident Investigation Team] to make sure we fully understood everything,” Capt. Chris Old said in a press release. “When a trooper is involved in a collision, it’s important that we understand any and all factors that might be in play.”

Beebe has already served a four-day suspension and completed 40 hours of drive retraining in the wake of the crash and is back on patrol.

The Nov. 29 crash was not Beebe's first. In 2012, he was involved in a chase that ended in the death of a motorcyclist and the destruction of Beebe's patrol car when they both went down an embankment.

Last month, the family of that motorcyclist started a petition to have Beebe removed from the Washington State Patrol, citing his dangerous driving.

Beebe has been involved in four crashes during his 17-year career.