Hanford

Hanford motorcyclist’s death may help save others

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigated after a Hanford worker’s motorcycle hit a deer at the nuclear reservation at dusk Sunday. The worker did not survive.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigated after a Hanford worker’s motorcycle hit a deer at the nuclear reservation at dusk Sunday. The worker did not survive. Courtesy Benton County Sheriff's Office

A Hanford employee who hit a deer on his motorcycle Sunday died early Wednesday morning, said the Benton County Coroner’s Office.

The family of Mikhaill “Mike” Stewart posted on social media on Monday that he would not survive his injuries. But his death was delayed after his family decided to donate his organs, said Chief Deputy Coroner Roy McLean.

Stewart leaves a wife and two small children. A GoFundMe site has raised almost $30,000 for funeral expenses and to help his family.

He was on his way to work at 6:15 p.m. Sunday when his motorcycle hit the deer, said investigators.

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Deer on the Hanford nuclear reservation pose a hazard for drivers, particularly in the fall as workers are commuting at dawn and dusk when the animals are active. File Tri-City Herald

He was on the Hanford nuclear reservation, but had not reached the Wye Barricade secure entrance to Hanford on the site’s Route 4 South just north of Richland.

He was wearing a helmet and was not speeding, according to police reports.

Stewart worked on the water utilities team for Department of Energy contractor Mission Support Alliance.

The contractor’s president, Bob Wilkinson, sent a message to employees with condolences. He reminded employees that counseling was available.

Dawn and dusk in the fall are particularly hazardous times for drivers in the Hanford area, because of the likelihood of deer and elk crossing the road during the times when workers are commuting.

Mission Support Alliance said there was another accident in which a truck hit a deer at 5 p.m. Tuesday on Route 4 South. The driver was not hurt.

Annette Cary; 509-582-1533
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