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Ellensburg man involved in fiery fatal Oregon crash arrested in Bellingham

This 15-passenger GMC van was involved in a fiery fatal crash north of Lincoln City, Oregon in July 2016, where the driver drove off the highway, hit a tree and caught the vehicle on fire. The 27-year-old passenger was found dead in the burnt van. The driver, Shaypher Lee M. Hendricks, 23, of Ellensburg, was arrested in Bellingham Thursday night.
This 15-passenger GMC van was involved in a fiery fatal crash north of Lincoln City, Oregon in July 2016, where the driver drove off the highway, hit a tree and caught the vehicle on fire. The 27-year-old passenger was found dead in the burnt van. The driver, Shaypher Lee M. Hendricks, 23, of Ellensburg, was arrested in Bellingham Thursday night. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

An Ellensburg man involved in a fiery fatal crash near a coastal town in Oregon was arrested in Bellingham.

Shaypher Lee M. Hendricks, 23, was arrested by Bellingham police during a traffic stop in the 300 block of East Chestnut Street Thursday at 10 p.m.

Oregon State Police have been searching for Hendricks for more than a year, according to Lt. Cari Boyd, with the Newport Division of the Oregon State Police.

“We knew he had gone up to Washington, but we had no idea where he was,” Boyd said Friday. “We’ve just been waiting for him to get into custody.”

Hendricks’ warrant out of Oregon is extraditable. He is charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Around 3 a.m. on July 12, 2016, Oregon State Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 18 near milepost 3.5, north of Lincoln City, Oregon. An investigation revealed a white 15-passenger GMC van was traveling westbound on the highway when it left the road, struck several large trees and caught fire, according to an OSP news release.

The driver, later identified as Hendricks, was taken to North Lincoln Hospital and then flown to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where he was treated for serious injuries.

The passenger, 27-year-old Austin M. Mayhak, of Union Gap, was found dead in the burnt van, according to the release.

The investigation determined alcohol was a factor in the crash, authorities said.

“The fire was incredibly fast burning and very, very dynamic,” Boyd said.

burnt2
This 15-passenger GMC van was involved in a fiery fatal crash north of Lincoln City, Oregon in July 2016, where the driver drove off the highway, hit a tree and caught the vehicle on fire. The 27-year-old passenger was found dead in the burnt van. The driver, Shaypher Lee M. Hendricks, 23, of Ellensburg, was arrested in Bellingham Thursday night. Cari Boyd, Oregon State Police Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Hendricks and Mayhak knew each other from work. They were doing contract work in Oregon, Boyd said.

Highway 18 was closed completely for about eight hours and traffic was rerouted onto North Bank Road, according to the release. The highway opened briefly a few times to let commercial vehicles clear.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

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