End of Watch: 07/18/2007
Agency: Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office
County: Klickitat County
During the afternoon hours of Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, Sergeant Peter Garland of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office was driving his personal car when he was struck head-on by a driver under the influence of marijuana. Sergeant Garland was working as the on-call watch commander at the time of the crash.
The incident occurred when Sergeant Garland, driving his 1993 Nissan 300SX, was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 97 when he was struck head-on by an Audi A4 driven by Sean Kearney, 20, of Carnation. Kearney was headed southbound on Highway 97 when he attempted to pass a tractor-trailer in a no passing zone, about 20 miles south of Toppenish. The driver of the British Columbia tractor-trailer said that each car tried to avoid the other, but they collided when Kearney veered left and collided with Sergeant Garland who had veered right.
Kearney and his passengers told Washington State Patrol troopers that they had smoked marijuana that morning before leaving Carnation with plans to travel to Bend, Oregon. A bag of marijuana and a glass pipe were located in the Audi. Kearney’s toxicology results were positive for marijuana.
Sergeant Garland was transported to Toppenish Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Kearney was convicted of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, receiving the maximum sentence of 20 months.
Sergeant Garland served with the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department for 15 years. He is survived by his wife, two foster sons, parents, and four siblings.