UPDATED as of 10:25 a.m.
The 61-year-old Fircrest man killed Thursday night after colliding with a University Place sheriff’s deputy has been identified as Dale Neel, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office reported today.
Meanwhile, the deputy, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, was released overnight from the hospital, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said today.
The deputy and Neel collided on Emerson Street near 67th Avenue West in University Place about 7 p.m.
Neel had turned from a side street onto Emerson and immediately went into the center turn lane so he could make a left toward his home, Troyer said.
The deputy was responding to a request for back up and had activated his lights and sirens. He was driving in the center turn lane when he spotted Neel and steered to the right to avoid him.
Neel also veered to the right lane.
“Preliminarily, it looks like they both tried to avoid each other and went to the same spot,” Troyer said.
The deputy hit Neel, then went over an embankment and crashed into a ditch. Neel, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Tacoma Police Department was investigating the crash. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department also will conduct an accident review, which is standard procedure when deputies are involved in crashes.
“It’s not an intentional use of force,” Troyer said. “It’s an accident.”