Keller man dies in vehicle crash

Police consider speed a factor in Thursday collision

— A local man died Thursday when his vehicle hit a guardrail and went off state Highway 21 and overturned into a creek north of town.

Anthony Joseph “Beau” Tonasket, 34, died at the scene, Colville Tribal Police Cdr. Tom Holsworth said.

Tonasket, who was alone in the car, was southbound on dry pavement at 3:28 p.m. when his vehicle hit the guardrail and took out 50-60 feet of railing and posts before it left the road and overturned in the creek. The impact tore the engine from the car.

“He hit viciously,” Holsworth said. The crash was reported by another motorist.

Speed was a factor in the crash. Tribal police are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role, he said.

The Washington State Patrol and tribal emergency medical services from Nespelem also responded.

A family rosary was Sunday at the Keller Community Center and a wake was Monday, also at the center.

Funeral services were Tuesday, with burial at the Keller Indian Cemetery on Kuehne Road.

“Too young, so sad. My prayers go out to the family and friends of Beau,” Debra Renee Hoganson wrote on the Tribal Tribune Facebook page.

“My heart goes out to Beau’s family,” Melinda Thompson wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. He will be sorely missed.”

According to Tonasket’s Facebook page, he was a 1997 graduate of Wilbur High School and was a painter by trade.

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