A 52-year-old Lakebay man who died Monday morning after hitting another car head-on on the Purdy Spit suffered a catastrophic medical condition.
Mark Buttler died of heart disease, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled. His death was ruled natural.
Witnesses had reported that Buttler was driving westbound on state Route 302 and slowly drifted across the center line on the Purdy Spit about 6:45 a.m. He had not been speeding or driving erratically, Washington State Patrol trooper Guy Gill said.
“There were no signs of distracted driving,” he added.
Buttler hit an oncoming car driven by a 54-year-old Port Orchard woman. She was taken to Tacoma General Hospital to be treated for injuries she sustained after her car went down an embankment.
Buttler was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, where he was pronounced dead.
Gill said the damage to Buttler’s vehicle wasn’t consistent with a deadly crash. The circumstances of the wreck were more consistent with Buttler suffering a medical event right before the collision.