[Update 7 p.m.: Major Injuries] Vehicle Crashes into Tree on Highway 101

Emergency personnel are at the scene of a vehicle accident in the Arcata area. The accident happened around 3:30 p.m.

Early reports indicate the vehicle rolled over and crashed into a tree near the Sunset exit. The vehicle involved is a Chrysler 200, according to the California Highway Patrol incident page.

Update 3:51 p.m.: According to the scanner, there was a small fire in the engine compartment of the vehicle.

Update 3:58 p.m.: The incident page says the accident is near St. Louis Bridge on the shoulder of the highway.

At 3:56 p.m., the classification of the accident was changed to a minor injury accident.

Update 7 p.m.:  Ricky John Damassa, 53, of Arcata suffered major injuries as a result of the collision, the California Highway Patrol said in a press release today. Demassa was taken to Mad River Community Hospital to be treated for his injuries. The possibility that the crash was due to Demassa driving under the influence has not been ruled out, and the collision is still under investigation.



  • in my way of thinking, if i’m truckin down the highway and there is any fire any size anywhere in my vehicle – it is going to be referred to as a very large fire.

    and should that fire cause my truckin to become a gymnastics feat and then a quick lesson on crashing into an immovable object, that will be forever referred to as a “fuckin’ very large fire!”

    • Nowhere did the article state that the vehicle was on fire prior to the crash. The fire was first noted at 3:51 pm, right after the 3:30 crash. But yes, you are right that would be a major emergency for anyone.

  • The roads are real slick in mornings and when the sun starts going down.slow a little bit and drive like you want to live!!!!here’s an oldie still stands today,DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE arrive alive

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