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New Year’s Eve Fatal

Posted on 2nd January 2014 at 16:57

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a fatal car crash that happened on New Year’s Eve near Woodland. Around 10:40 pm on Tuesday night, Christopher J. Beacock, 28, of Woodland was killed and two passengers were injured when a 2003 Ford Mustang left the pavement in the 800 block of Insel Road, and then crashed into some trees at the bottom of a steep slope. The crash happened less than a mile from Beacock’s home in Woodland; he apparently was “test-driving” the Mustang, which was owned by Matthew Hance, 25, of Battle Ground. Hance was one of the passengers, along with Nicholas Ackerill, 33, of Battle Ground. The car went down a 45-degree slope, down into a 60-foot ravine. More than 50 firefighters from Cowlitz and Clark Counties were involved in the rescue and recovery effort; Beacock was dead at the scene, while Ackerill and Hance had to be extricated from the wreckage. Hance was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he’s still listed in stable condition. Ackerill’s condition hasn’t been updated. Deputies say excessive speed was clearly a factor in the crash; they’re awaiting the results of toxicology tests to see if driver impairment may have also been involved.