Internationally known musician and Grammy award winner Macklemore was involved in a head-on collision in Langley on Friday, hit by what police believe was a suspected drunk driver.
Macklemore, whose legal name is Ben Haggerty, was not injured in the crash. The other driver, identified as Freeland resident Jake O’Brian Pitcher, was not so lucky. He suffered facial injuries and was transported to WhidbeyHealth in Coupeville.
A hospital spokeswoman confirmed he was treated and then released on Saturday.
Both vehicles also sustained significant damage, including Macklemore’s 2016 Mercedes-Maybach AMG S600, a 12-cylinder car with a starting price tag of $191,000.
The accident was reported at 10:22 p.m. and occurred on Camano Avenue at the curve in the road in front of Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. According to Langley police, Pitcher, 24, was southbound on Camano in a 1986 Chevy S10 pickup and Macklemore, 35, with two passengers, was northbound in the Mercedes.
“Upon arriving I observed two vehicles that looked to have struck each other head-on,” wrote Officer Charlie Liggitt in his report. “… The pickup truck appeared to have crossed into the northbound lane and strike [sic] the Mercedes.”
Liggitt said Macklemore later claimed that Pitcher did cross the centerline and struck his vehicle while he was negotiating the curve just north of Edgecliff Drive.
Liggitt interviewed Pitcher as well, noting that he “smelled the faint odor of intoxicants.”
“When I asked the driver of the pickup, Jake Pitcher, if he had anything to drink that evening, he replied, ‘A while back.’ I asked him how much and he said, ‘five o’clock.’”
Pitcher was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and suffered “severe facial lacerations” when his face struck the windshield.
“His windshield was shattered where his face hit it,” said Police Chief Dave Marks, who was also at the scene.
Langley decided to give the case to the Washington State Patrol who have special training in collisions and in accidents involving alcohol.
Trooper Heather Axtman, spokeswoman for the agency, confirmed that Pitcher was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of driving under the influence following a blood draw.
She also confirmed that Macklemore was driving with a suspended driver’s license. He was cited.
Back at the scene of the crash, Macklemore’s vehicle presented difficulties during road clean up. The model packs over 500 horsepower and weighs more than 5,000 pounds.
“They’re a really heavy car; they had difficulty loading it on the tow truck,” Marks said.
Gary Peterson of Simmons Garage & Towing in Clinton said part of the problem was that Macklemore took the keys and left the vehicle in “park.”
“It was like loading a parked tank,” he said.
Marks said the vehicle was totaled. It’s currently being stored in Simmons’ impound yard.
Macklemore won four Grammys in 2014 for best rap album, best new artist, best rap performance and best rap song. His parents reportedly have a home on South Whidbey and he visits often.
Marks said he sees him around town often, and instantly recognized him at the scene of the accident. He did not ask for his autograph.