One dead in SR3 accident
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:03 AM
"A Sunday morning accident on State Route 3 just north of Austin Drive in Bremerton proved fatal for Silverdale resident Jean-Paul R. Melendres.The accident occured at 10:10 a.m., when Melendres' southbound Toyota Corolla reportedly crossed over the center strip and collided with a northbound Ford F-250 pick-up truck driven by Robert F. Peterson of Puyallup.Melendres, 21, died of massive trauma.Peterson, 47, was in the truck with his daughters, 30-year-old Jennifer Hendricks of Las Vegas, Nev., and Erin Peterson, 16, of Henderson, Nev. No one in Peterson's truck was seriously hurt, although Hendricks was taken to Harrison Memorial Hospital and treated for minor back injuries.Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to Washington State Patrol Communications Officer Jonathan Pitts. Pitts said Melendres was pronounced dead at the scene by a representative of the Kitsap County Coroner's Office, who also later notified Melendres' next of kin. An autopsy of Melendres was scheduled for Monday.Melendres was alone in his vehicle which was totally destroyed.It was pulverized, Pitts said.The Ford truck ended up on its side after Peterson broke heavily. Three of the four people involved in the accident, including Melendres, were wearing seat belts, according to WSP reports. Washington State Patrol investigators still are trying to determine why Melendres' vehicle crossed the median during clear conditions and with dry pavement.Generally these types of accidents, if they are not caused by alcohol, and this one wasn't, are because of overcorrecting, Pitts said. That is a general rule of thumb.Pitts said skid measurements taken at the scene will later determine how fast Melendres' vehicle was travelling.Pitts said traffic backed up on State Route 3 almost immediately because of increased traffic linked to Labor Day - the last major holiday before schools reopen.Northbound traffic jams on State Route 3 were particularly long as troopers took four hours to complete their investigation, Pitts said. "