WSP: Driver on phone when vehicle leaves Highway 14, crashes

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A Battle Ground man running late for a court hearing was driving and talking on his cellphone when his vehicle left state Highway 14, crossed another street and then crashed into a fence Thursday morning, according to Washington State Patrol.

Victor Gensitskiy, 25, was driving a Ford Edge west on the highway, headed toward Clark County Superior Court, where Gensitskiy had a court hearing he was running late for, according to Trooper Will Finn.

“He was on the phone with the court asking to reschedule when they told him no,” Finn said.

The Edge left the roadway about a half-mile west of Southeast Ellsworth Road and crossed two lanes of Southeast French Road before going into a ditch, Finn said. The vehicle continued to travel about 100 feet, striking a large rock before eventually crashing into a wood fence, Finn said. The crash was reported at 8:50 a.m.

Part of Gensitskiy’s court order for a previous charge of failing to appear, however, is that his license is suspended, Finn said.

Gensitskiy was cited Thursday for third-degree driving with a suspended license and second-degree negligent driving.

He was not injured.

“This driver’s inattention while driving could have caused so much more damage or injury,” Finn said. “This vehicle left the highway at a high rate and entered a neighborhood street. We are extremely fortunate there were no school buses or vehicles on French Road when this vehicle left state Route 14.”