Chaelyn L Depoe Dies, Matthew T Herz Arrested in Vehicle Crash on Highway 112
Port Angeles, WA (August 7, 2020) – On Thursday, 10-year-old Chaelyn L Depoe from Neah Bay died in a vehicle crash that happened on Tuesday on Highway 112.
Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said this morning that Chaelyn Depoe succumbed to major injuries she sustained in the two-vehicle crash. Depoe sustained multiple rib fractures and a possible serious brain injury.
44-year-old Matthew T. Herz from Neah Bay was the driver of the vehicle Depoe was riding at the time of the accident. He was treated and discharged from Olympic Medical Center.
State Patrol said neither Herz nor Depoe were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Moreover, Gregg said another occupant of Herz’s vehicle, 30-year-old Jade A. Williams from Neah Bay, was in serious condition this morning in the hospital’s intensive care unit. He had “substantial” injuries, including broken ribs and a lacerated spleen.
Several People Were Injured, Including Children
Authorities arrested and incarcerated Herz at the Clallam County jail after the collision for investigation of two counts of vehicular assault and three counts of reckless endangerment.
Authorities released him without bail Thursday from the Clallam County jail, while the State Patrol continues its investigation, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson said.
State Patrol said Williams is Depoe’s mother. She and Herz “consider themselves unofficially married,” according to Herz’s arrest report.
The investigation includes toxicology tests of Herz’s blood, drawn under a court order, and analysis of a small packet of crystalline powder. Authorities believed what they found in Herz’s vehicle was methamphetamine.
Some of Herz’s injured passengers were:
5-year-old brother Watseeka, Depoe’s brother who is in satisfactory condition this morning at Harborview.
Another 5-year-old boy was in Herz’s vehicle whose name was not given was also treated at Olympic Medical Center and discharged.
3-year-old Tasha N. Moss from Port Angeles was in the front passenger seat of Herz’s vehicle. She was treated at Olympic Medical Center and discharged.
Investigations reveal that Herz was traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 112 when he failed to slow for an eastbound vehicle in front of him that was making a turn. Herz applied his brakes and drifted into the westbound lane. He crashed with William T Lee from Port Angeles.
Rescuers took Lee to OMC where he was treated and discharged.
Finally, Herz said he took Suboxone on Tuesday morning and but did not use methamphetamine.
We at Sweet Lawyers express our condolences to the family and friends of Chaelyn L Depoe. Our thoughts are with you during this time of grief.
Dealing With Wrongful Death
While the loss of a dear one is irreversible, it is best for your family to know how to move forward.
Subsequently, it is important to recognize that if your family loses a member in an accident, you may still achieve some semblance of justice. To do so, you must file a wrongful death suit.
A wrongful death claim allows family members to obtain vindication for their dearly departed. Also, it is a step towards recovering from tragedy.
“I think the misconception is that when a loved one passes away, the insurance company will automatically admit liability and offer all of the funds available. Insurance companies will try to save money, even if it means not fully compensating for the death of a loved one. When a family retains an attorney immediately, it gives them time to grieve their loss. Meanwhile, their attorney can start focusing on holding the negligent party accountable,” says Tyler Toomey, an attorney at Sweet Lawyers.
To conclude, it is best to reach out to the expert attorneys at Sweet Lawyers. We have over 40 years of expertise in the legal field and will do everything it takes to win your legal case. Call our offices at (800) 674 7852. You may also send us an e-mail, or talk to our live chat for a free consultation with a professional in your area.