sheriffsmUPDATE: Wednesday - August 30th, 2017

The identity of the individual involved in the fatal kayaking incident on Tuesday afternoon has now been authorized for release. Michael R. Lawrance (61-yoa) of Hollywood, Florida was located at the bottom of the Wenatchee River near Plain, WA by a swift water team member. Lawrance had been seen in the water attempting to catch up to the kayak shortly before he disappeared. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The Chelan County Coroner’s Office has made contact with Lawrance’s next of kin out of state.

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Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a kayaking incident on the Wenatchee River near Plain, WA has claimed the life of a 61-year old man Tuesday afternoon.

The initial 911 call to RIVERCOM dispatch was made at 1:23pm from a witness on the east bank of the river who had noticed an empty kayak floating in the middle of the river with a male subject in the water behind it. The witness stated the subject appeared to be trying to catch up to the kayak as they floated down the river. The subject in the water was described as wearing shorts with no personal floatation vest. After making the 911 call, the witness said she could no longer see the person in the river, and the kayak was still floating downriver unoccupied.

Personnel from Chelan County Fire District #9, Cascade EMS, and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the area in an attempt to locate the missing subject. The kayak was located and secured. At 2:39pm a member of the swift water rescue response team using a float board observed the missing male at the bottom of the river in approximately 5 feet of water. The subject was removed from the river to the west shoreline and CPR was initiated. He did not survive the incident.

It was confirmed that the subject was not wearing a personal floatation device. At this time, it is not known how the subject was initially separated from the kayak. Friends of the subject eventually contacted Sheriff’s deputies at the scene when they realized he was well overdue floating from the old bridge on Chapel Road in Plain to a property along Meachum Road which is about 2 miles downstream.

The name of the victim is being withheld at this time as the Sheriff’s Office and Chelan County Coroner attempt to locate next of kin out of state.

douglascountysheriff148On the night of August 27th, 2017 the Fancher Heights area of Douglas County was hit with a series of Vehicle Prowls. 

A total of 18 vehicle were broken into or entered through unlocked doors.  Stolen items included computers, checks, i-pads, walkie talkies, a rifle, binoculars, and a ballistic vest. 

At approximately 2:51 AM Deputies got a break when one of the victims was able to produce a surveillance video of two thieves trying to enter his car.  An East Wenatchee Police Officer who had come to the area to assist located one of the suspects on Inglewood Drive.  The Deputy was able to identify him based on the surveillance video and he was arrested.   

A picture of the second suspect was transmitted to the mobile data terminals of patrol cars in the area.  A Deputy located the second suspect at the Circle K on Grant Rd.  He was also arrested.  

The suspects were identified as 26 year old Michael Sheppard of Moses Lake and  24 year old William Young of Yakima. 

Some of the stolen property has been returned to their owners.  Search warrants are being sought to enter containers being carried by the suspects. 

Anyone who was a victim of a vehicle prowl in that area and who has not made a report is urged to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office or RiverCom dispatch to make a report.

I could not be more proud of the deputies and EWPD officer who worked together to bring these thieves to justice.  It is also an excellent example of how technology has become such a vital tool for law enforcement.

run with cops2
Deputy Chief Ray Coble (EWPD), Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal (DCSO), Chief Randy Harrison (EWPD) Chief Steve Crown (WPD), Captain Edgar Reinfeld (WPD), and Captain Rob Huss (WSP) along with one of our junior runners.

 

run with cops
 The crowd gathering just before the run.

 

On August 26th, 2017 area law enforcement agencies sponsored a “Run With the Cops” event to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. 

Law enforcement officers ran with the athletes, their families, and supporters.  Adults ran a 5K and kids had an option of a 2K course.  The event was well attended and it was a great opportunity for deputies, officers and troopers to have positive interaction with the public. 

I tip my hat to the officers who actually ran in their gun belts.  Mine tips the scales at 24 pounds, so I opted for traffic control.  The organizers, which included many volunteers, did an excellent job managing the event.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

wsdot logoTravelers on I-90 should plan for significant congestion Friday and Monday

OLYMPIA – Heading out for one last summer holiday weekend? Planning ahead could be the key to smooth sailing whether on land or sea.

Travelers can use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s traffic volume charts this holiday weekend to “know before they go” and help time their travel on key routes. In particular, this year, holiday congestion is expected on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass – especially westbound traffic.

I-90/Snoqualmie Pass

Bridge deck repairs in the westbound lanes of I-90 between the summit of Snoqualmie Pass (milepost 52) and North Bend (milepost 34) will not be complete by Labor Day as initially hoped. This means only two of three lanes will be open for drivers heading westbound. The lane closures are needed because portions of the bridge decks have been removed and traffic can’t be shifted back on those decks until new concrete is placed and cured. Drivers will also encounter lane closures and traffic shifts through the Cle Elum area (milepost 86) due to work to replace old pavement with new concrete lanes.

During the holiday weekend:

  • Eastbound travelers will experience delays on Friday, Sept. 1, and should consider traveling early in the day or late in the evening.
  • Westbound travelers should expect major delays Monday, Sept. 4, near the detour. If possible, travelers may want to leave early or possibly extend their return trip into Tuesday, Sept. 5.
  • The WSDOT I-90 travel charts do not reflect this construction work, but they can still be used as an overall guide to the times when the most congestion is expected.

Navigating congested areas

  • Slow down: Please obey posted speed limits. Speed is reduced for everyone’s safety.
  • Stay alert: Be especially aware of other vehicles and prepare for any sudden stops.
  • Allow extra travel time: Drivers delayed by congestion sometimes try to compensate by driving faster once the congestion clears. Instead, allow extra travel time or consider adjusting travel schedules if possible.

Know before you go

To ease congestion statewide, WSDOT suspends most state highway construction work during the holiday weekend starting Friday, Sept. 1. On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, the State Route 520 bridge toll will be on holiday rates, while the Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers.

Washington State Ferries passengers should expect heavier traffic during the holiday weekend and reservations are strongly recommended for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands; Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia; and Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry routes.

Travelers planning to avoid highway congestion by traveling via train, personal aircraft or transit also should factor the holiday into their plans:

  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Book nowor call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
  • Aviators can get updates on state-operated airportsor by calling 800-552-0666.
  • Most public transit systemswill follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-A-Ride service on holidays.

douglascountysheriff148On August 10th, 2017 at 6:53 PM deputies responded to a report of a hit and run vehicle/pedestrian accident at the 10 Blk. of Akron Ave. in Rock Island, WA. 

The reporting party stated that the suspect had fled the scene.  When deputies arrived a male was being treated by firefighters. 

The investigation revealed that two males had gotten into an argument over accusations of theft.  One male got into a car.  The second male approached the vehicle and punched him in the face.  The driver backed up violently.  One of the tires caught the second male’s leg.  He fell down and was run over.  The driver fled the scene. 

The injured male was transported the Confluence Hospital for treatment.  The extent of his injuries is unknown. 

The driver was identified as 46 year old Gordon McVay of East Wenatchee.  McVay contacted the Sheriff’s Office the next day and agreed to give a statement.  He was subsequently arrested for Hit and Run.  He was booked into the Chelan County Jail without incident.