[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.
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.