Identity of Eatonville man killed on Mt. Hwy released; cause of crash still a mystery


The identity of the 57-year old Eatonville man who died on Mountain Highway Thursday when his Ford pick-up crashed into a utility pole at about 255th St, has been made public; his name is Ronald E. Herron.

 However, the circumstances of his death and the factors that led to his accident are still unknown, and suggest a deepening mystery.

 According to initial information released to the public by the Washington State Patrol, an unnamed witness claimed to have followed Mr. Herron from Lakewood, and reported that Herron had been driving “all over the road” and that there had been several “near collisions” before he left the roadway and struck the utility pole.

 Further, Assistant Chief Tony Judd of Graham Fire & Rescue told the Mountain News that Herron “was already in full cardiac-arrest by the time our units got to the scene.”

 Chief Judd added that responding citizens had pulled Mr. Herron from his vehicle before fire and medical units arrived because there was a small engine fire that erupted during the accident.

 Nevertheless, the Herron family said that they had been told by the Pierce County Coroner’s Office that Mr. Herron had died of internal injuries sustained in the crash.

 Further, the Herron family is perplexed why the accident happened.

 “He was fine two hours before when he left the house,” Mr. Herron’s wife, Suzanne, said.

 The family added that Ronald had traveled to the VA hospital at American Lake to obtain a regular prescription of medication and was on his way home.  Whether Mr. Herron had taken some of that medication and had an adverse reaction, thus causing the crash, or some other medical or physical issue emerged, is unknown.

 “The coroner told us they just don’t know if that happened.  There’s no way for them to tell,” Mrs. Herron said, adding, “He had been taking those medications for years without any problems.”

 WSP Trooper Guy Gill told the Mountain News that his agency had no further knowledge of the accident’s cause, and could not speculate if a heart attack caused the accident – or the accident triggered the heart attack.

 “That’s for the coroner to determine,” he said.

 Memorial services are still being finalized, but Mr. Herron, a military vet, will be buried in the National Cemetery on Wednesday, June 22, at 1:30 pm.

 To read a full obituary of Ronald Herron, visit .

 Besides his wife, Suzanne, Ronald E. Herron is survived by his three adult sons: Nathaniel, Rodney, and Randall.

 The Herron family home is on 330th St, where they have lived for the past 22 years.   Prior, the Herrons had lived in Roy and McKenna.

 ©  2011  The Mountain News – WA

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