[UPDATE 9:27 a.m.: Road Clear] One Dead in Three Car Collision

One dead and all four both southbound lanes of Hwy 101 are closed following a three car pileup on Hwy 101 north of Hooker Creek Road in Southern Humboldt, according to scanner traffic. A white BMW sedan was reported overturned on Hwy 101 at approximately 2:54 a.m. in the southbound lane just north of the southern entrance to the Avenue of the Giants. Then the person that called in the accident had their car rear-ended by another vehicle coming up onto the accident.

Reach Air Ambulance was originally requested along with Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue but the medi-flight was cancelled after it was reported on the scanner that one person was described as 11-44, a fatality.

UPDATE 3:45 a.m.: CHP dispatch confirmed there is no estimated time of reopening the road. Garberville Fire, Phillipsville Fire and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue were all released from the scene.

UPDATE 5:11 a.m.: Photographs of the crash provided by Steve Berteaux.

Untitled Capture Untitled 10320518_1076472152412812_7086826943101008753_n
UPDATE 5:22 a.m.: The California Highway Patrol Dispatch center says traffic is getting through.

UPDATE 6:17 a.m.: The incident has been terminated and the road is clear.

UPDATE 6:43 a.m.: Miranda fire volunteers, Phillipsville fire volunteers, Redway fire volunteers,  Garberville fire volunteers, and Cal Fire as well as Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue all responded to the crash on Hwy 101 this morning, according to the Southern Humboldt Fire Chiefs Association.

UPDATE 7 a.m.: According to Redway Fire Chief Brian Anderson,

There was a solo collision that was in the lane. A second car collided with the first car as well as another vehicle that had stopped to assist. Two moderate injuries and one fatal. Both southbound lanes were blocked and there was debris in the northbound number one (fast lane) lane. Traffic was one way controlled for a period of time until the debris could be cleared. Currently, traffic is flowing both directions using the northbound lanes as the southbound lanes remain closed for investigation. Caltrans has the lane closures in place…. Based on the reports of injuries, there was a air ambulance requested, however it was cancelled soon after units arrived at the scene.

UPDATE 9:27 a.m.: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Thursday morning, February 25, 2016, at approximately 2:50 AM, a 1995 BMW occupied by a single occupant, whose name is not being released at this time, was traveling southbound on US-101, south of Phillipsville, in the number one lane at a high rate of speed. The BMW briefly drifted over the center dividing section before over-correcting to the right, sending the BMW into an ascending embankment to the west of US-101. Upon impact with the embankment, the BMW overturned and slid on its roof approximately 200 feet before coming to rest in the southbound number 2 lane of US-101. Witness statements showed the BMW’s speed to be over 100 miles per hour seconds prior to the collision. The driver of the BMW is believed not to have been restrained and was partially ejected from the vehicle when it overturned.

Shortly after the collision, a second southbound vehicle, a 2015 Nissan sedan, driven by 50 year old Dorsey Lane from Carlotta collided head on with the overturned BMW. A third vehicle which was stopped and unoccupied was struck as a result of the second collision.

The driver of the BMW sustained fatal injuries, believed to have been caused from the first rollover collision. The driver and passenger of the Nissan both sustained moderate injuries and were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna.

Assisting agencies at the scene were Cal Fire, Redway Volunteer Fire, Phillipsville Volunteer Fire, Miranda Volunteer Fire, City Ambulance, and Caltrans.

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the cause of the BMW colliding with the embankment and overturning. However, alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the cause of the second collision, the Nissan versus the BMW.



  • kym , do you have any names ?

  • No. CHP would not release names until next of kin had been notified.

  • So can we still use the ave to get around this?

  • Prayers to all

  • Kym, may I credit you with the news and use the info as an update on KINS?

    Dan Squier

  • Every time I hear of an accident and death I immediate think ” maybe thats my child ” I am fearful for my children, they can be so reckless at times, I pray grace to who ever the family is.

  • Good job kym hopefully early morning commuters will see this before heading out.

    • All clear now. Thanks to the emergency folks–it always amazes me to see the effort put into these terrible accidents. From the first caller to dispatch to the CHP to Cal Fire and especially the volunteer fire crews, they all work long hard hours to make the road safe for all of us.

      • I agree that the emergency personelled folks work hard, but chp NO WAY. I was in a crash at 3 am this winter, hit black ice and spin out. Had pregnant wife with me. It took first responder chp an hour and half to get there from 20 mins away and they treated me like a criminal when it was an emergency. There were no injuries, had just a bad wreck and still an emergency. Kym, if you ever had the time I think a little I investigating in chp officers would be awesome. They are so sarcastic and mean, and unhelpful. They refused to call a tow truck fr garberville and really were not helpful to us, and I’m sure we are not the only ones!! If only kym Kemp were a first responder!

        • I can’t speak for all CHP. Like all professions there are bad eggs and even good people have bad days. But I’ve been incredibly impressed by some of the officers I’ve met. Brian Anderson, for one, volunteers his off duty time as Chief of the Redway Fire Department.

          • I agree with Kym, I know some fine CHP officers, Brian Anderson is one. He is salt of the earth, he is the Redway Fire Chief, he lives in Redway, he loves his community. I also Know some real Assholes. But, the good ones far outnumber the bad. Hopefully, when your life depends on it you will get a good one.

        • My car was broke down one winter morning. I limped off the freeway (in Piercy area), it was about 4 am, had my flashers on. A CHP took the freeway exit from the other direction. I thought he would come over to me but no, he turned and took the road in the other direction. This was before cell phones were common. Finally near day break a commuter on his way to work stopped. When he got to work he call a tow truck for me. Generally I have a great deal of respect for the law officers but, sometimes their actions don’t make sense.

      • Thank you also to Cal Trans. They were called out at 3:00 a.m. and kept the road safe for everyone putting their own safety aside. Please be respectful when you see cones my husband is on the road and I want him home safe each night. My prayers go out to all involved and their families.

      • long hours, being awakened in the middle of night to work on these horrible scenes, risking their lives just being on the scene due to inattentive drivers driving past, and, in this case, having to see how fragile the human body really is and how fast a living thing can perish…
        knowing there will be broken hearts and the families of the survivors have long roads ahead with their injured loved ones.

        i believe these rescue personnel from all agencies have to pocket the “normal” feelings of dealing with these nightmare scene’s. some time later they will have to deal with their own trauma from the scene they assisted with.

        ****graphic story next & unrelated to the wreck in this report****

        in 1984 in wisconsin…
        i worked with a man, jeff, who use to be an EMT in los angeles.
        i asked him how he dealt working on all those he who died in wrecks he was called to. his answer chills me to this day…”after you do it long enough you can pick them up and dance with them”.

        a few weeks later… 1:30am & jeff was called to a late night accident – a car that was t-boned – driver’s side – by a loaded cattle truck. the driver and sole occupant of the car had died, luckily the truck driver was not injured (physically).

        the car, a rare mint condition1966 Olds Toronadoa, was now an unrecognizable heap of metal.
        they pronounced the driver deceased before jeff realized that unrecognizable driver he removed from that heap of metal was our close friend, debbie.

        just 12 hrs earlier jeff and i were with debbie having great fun, and riding running errands in that big ‘ol Toronadoa.
        jeff and i planned to ride with debbie to a company party that night at 8. jeff and i backed out last minute.

        i think now days there have debriefing and counseling for emergency workers. not so back then…
        the next day jeff quit being an EMT forever.
        3 weeks later he suddenly walked off his job and rather shut down mentally for about a year.
        he never was the same after debbie’s wreck.
        jeff was another victim of that wreck.
        maybe that numbness he pocketed as an EMT surfaced and overwhelmed.

        debbie taught me a lot throughout our friendship. and she opened my eyes the night she died.

        may we all learn from these horrible wrecks, injury’s and deaths. hard situations let us know the teacher is in the room.
        rip to this driver, and to debbie cotton.

  • Thoughts and prayers for everyone and their families. Hopefully it was not drunk driving.

  • Anyone know of the 3rd vehicle?

  • That is horrible. So sorry for the families that have to deal with this now. Prayers to all..

  • I am curious to know if the fatality was the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the first motorist who crashed, or if it was the person driving the vehicle that ran into the first 2 vehicles stopped at the scene.

    • According to what I heard, the good Samaritan was not injured.

    • the fatality was
      “…The driver of the BMW is believed not to have been restrained and was partially ejected from the vehicle when it overturned…”

      • Hi Judi,
        Please notice my comment was made this morning at 8:12 am, which is BEFORE the 9:27 am update to which you are quoting. It is obvious
        that you are trying to make me out to be an idiot. Next time, please think twice, and check the facts, before launching a barbed post. Thanks!

        • no no, CnD, i’m sorry you thought that of that comment.

          if you look for any of my comment history you know i’m out-of-control wordy. i’m slowly trying to be wordy and less long-winded. you’ll see i do a lot of copy/paste as i did here.

          if i don’t copy/paste i site info location so those who wish can get info they’re looking for.

          i’m sorry you’re upset, but please know to insult or try to place you in a bad light was never even in my mind, and now your comment has shocked me. i can see you’re point.

          no, i did not notice the time stamps of comments posted.
          again, my apology.

          • Judi – A gracious apology instead of a harsh retaliation is refreshing. You & CnD just proved a frank & civil exchange works better than a war of words. Very nice to see!

    • The Good Samaritan who stopped helping the first motorist who crashed and called 911.

  • Kym, please let us know the victims name when released. ..

  • Thanks again for your reporting. It is hard, there are so many accidents and we, too, always wonder if it is a child or grandchild of ours involved. And we know it is someone’s child, friend, spouse… Thank you, too, to all the first responders. That is not easy work.

  • you could tell it was bad going by the cleanup operations at 730 this morning. Freeway was down to 2 lanes still at that time. I had an uncle killed in a similar situation in the late eighties. He’d be alive today if other drivers just paid attention.

  • So very sorry to the family’s. May God bless you all.

  • Does anyone know if the silver car with the major front end damage was a ford focus???

  • Oh wow the up-date is so sad.100 yikes that’s pushing that beamer.so very sorry for everyone involved!please drive safe

  • Speed kills. It slows down your ability to react. May the victim rest in peace and the rest of you slow down!

  • 3 in the morning, 100 MPH, no safety belts, and apparently no driving skills. What do you expect other than tragedy?

  • RIP big Bro I love you you will form very live in my heart gone too damn young i cant stop my tears from pouring, this all seems like a nightmare that i just want to wake up from 🙁 please restrain from making rude comments toward my brother yes he was in the wrong but its traggic this is how his life came to an end. He is the most kind hearted person you would ever hope to meet just followed down the wrong path at times if you never knew him personally then your horrible criticism doesn’t matter and cannot help what happened that early morning for he is no longer with us.

    • So sorry for your loss, so many young life’s are lost in this county and it breaks my heart. Prayers to all his family and friends…may he rest in peace.

  • If anyone knew Dillon or would like to help with funeral cost here is the gofundme link anything helps even a dollar. Thank you in advanced

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  • Stephanie Fuller

    I miss you Dillon and I am still having a terrible time dealing with this. My heart aches for you and I only wish I could see you once more. As you told me in a dream, someday I will be able to live with you in the afterlife and it will be far more beautiful than anything I’ve even imagined. RIP my friend

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