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Man dies 21 hours after unreported car crash

January 4, 2013 · Updated 4:52 PM
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POULSBO — The passenger in a vehicle that crashed Jan. 2 on State Route 3 at 305 died 21 hours later after seeking treatment for injuries believed related to the crash.

Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom said Russell J. Bruce, 34, of Bainbridge Island died of blunt force trauma to the chest.

The car was driven by Alexander L. Bigwood, 29, of Port Orchard, according to Washington State Patrol. The crash was not reported at the time it occurred and the men drove away from the scene, according to State Patrol.

Bruce “was driven from the scene in the vehicle,” State Patrol reported. “Later that day he sought medical attention for his injuries. He passed away approximately 21 hours after the collision."

The crash is under investigation.

According to State Patrol, Bigwood was driving a 2003 Dodge Durango north on State Route 3 at 305 when “the vehicle rotated and exited the roadway to the right and struck a street sign.” The collision occurred approximately 7:30 a.m. Jan. 2 but was not reported until 9:10 a.m. on the next day.

State Patrol spokesman Trooper Russ Winger said the driver stated he "lost [control] on the ice," but the damage was not severe and the car still drivable. There were three men in the car at the time of the crash; Bigwood told troopers they were headed to work around Chimacum.

"We don't at this time think there is any reason to believe there was any [drugs or alcohol] impairment, but we aren't going to have any way to know that, it's too late for that," Winger said, since the crash wasn't reported for 24 hours.

It was not known whether Bigwood or Bruce were wearing seatbelts. The Dodge Durango had “reportable damage,” according to State Patrol.


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