Former F.H. man killed in Chuckanut Drive collision; service Sunday in Tulalip
August 26, 2008 · Updated 10:30 AM
Service is Sunday, Aug. 24, 1 p.m., at the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Center gymnasium for Shawn McCarthy, a former Friday Harbor man who died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash on Chuckanut Drive.
The gymnasium is at 6700 Totem Beach Road. McCarthy owned a waterfront cottage on leased land on the Tulalip reservation.
McCarthy, 35, was riding his motorcycle on Chuckanut Drive Aug. 14 when the collision occurred, near mile post 11 just south of the Whatcom-Skagit county line, at about 11:31 a.m.
McCarthy's motorcycle crossed over the center line while negotiating a curve and collided head-on with a Dodge Durango in the opposing lane, according to the State Patrol. McCarthy was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died at 6:56 a.m. Aug. 17.
State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary said vehicle speed was not a factor, and that McCarthy was wearing a helmet. "He just didn't make the curve and crossed over the center line," Leary said. "He hadn't had a motorcycle endorsement for very long."
The collision is the second of the summer to occur near mile post 11 on the narrow, curvy road, the Bellingham Herald reported.
The Herald reported, "The driver of the Durango, a Spokane man, told the State Patrol that he was almost at a complete stop when his vehicle and the motorcycle collided around 11:31 a.m. He and his three passengers, all of Bellingham, were uninjured."
On The Bellingham Herald's Web site, a writer claiming to be the driver of the Durango wrote on Aug. 18, "I was almost stopped because the lead motorcycle in the pair nearly hit me first. It was the curve just north of Taylor’s. Remember, it was head-on. I had nowhere to go with him in my lane. The result was horrific.
"His name was Shawn and he was just as human as you and me. Please do not judge until you have been the one on the side of the road, holding the hand of a fatally injured man, waiting for help."
Also on The Bellingham Herald's Web site, an anonymous writer wrote of McCarthy, "He will be missed forever and we all know that he died doing something that he loved. He experienced more in life in his short 35 years than most people do ever. His warm smile, big heart, and sense of humor will not be forgotten."
Another anonymous writer wrote, "Know that Shawn was an honest, loving man with a lust for freedom and a craftsman with a sense for attention to detail. Not someone who would have taken lightly endangering himself or especially others. Shawn will be missed."
While growing up, McCarthy lived on Lopez Island and in Friday Harbor, and attended public schools here. While in high school, he lived at 670 Argyle Ave. He worked for Vast Concrete and for Mike Carlson Enterprises before moving to Tulalip. He was a carpenter.
"He was a fine human being," Mike Carlson said. "Everyone always liked him."
McCarthy is survived by his mother and stepfather, Sherri and Dennis Harkleff, of Arlington; father, Tom Mccarthy, in Ridgefield, Wash.; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.