End of Watch: 12/21/1940
Agency: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
County: Kitsap County
On Friday, December 20, 1940, Sheriff Rush Blankenship and Undersheriff Fred Vetters were investigating a collision on the Gig Harbor Highway about six miles south of Port Orchard when Sheriff Blankenship was struck by a vehicle and killed.
Sheriff Blankenship was attempting to move a vehicle from the roadway using his car. The two vehicles’ bumpers became entangled, so Sheriff Blankenship got out to investigate. After exiting the car, a vehicle driven by William Byl struck the sheriff. Sheriff Blankenship suffered massive internal injuries, a broken leg and a broken arm.
He was transported to Providence Hospital in Seattle where he died on Saturday morning, December 21, 1940 at about 1005 hours.
Sheriff Blankenship’s brother, Sheriff Daniel Blankenship, was killed in an automobile six years earlier while serving as the Kitsap County Sheriff. Sheriff Paul Blankenship had served as Sheriff for six years.