[UPDATE 3:25 p.m. One Confirmed Dead After Accident on Hwy 96

One person is trapped with “possibly with major injuries,” according to an officer on the scene after a silver Nissan Frontier crashed at mile marker 3 north of Noble Drive on Hwy 96 about 8 a.m. this morning. An air ambulance has been requested as well.

Willow Creek Fire, Hoopa Fire  and Hoopa Ambulance are all headed to the scene, too.

The vehicle is off the roadway but beware of emergency vehicles if you are traveling in the area.

UPDATE 8:28 a.m.: Northbound lanes are being shut down.

UPDATE 8:33 a.m.: The vehicle is 40 feet over the embankment, according to the California Highway Patrol Incident page.

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: One patient is confirmed dead. There are other patients.

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: The roadway is open.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:

CHP California Highway Patrol BlurOn February 27, 2016 at approximately 8:00 a.m., 34 year old Stormy Joy McConnell of McKinleyville was driving her silver 2000 Nissan Frontier southbound on SR-96, north of Trinity Valley Farm (MM 3), at an unknown speed.  46 year old Toni Rae Peters of Crescent City was properly restrained in the front passenger seat; a 9 year old male juvenile from McKinleyville was seated in the rear passenger area.   For unknown reason, Ms. McConnell lost control of her vehicle, drifting in an easterly direction, and crossing the northbound lane of SR-96.  The Nissan then traversed over the roadway edge and down the hillside where it collided with an oak tree.  It was daylight, cloudy and the roadway was wet from earlier rains (not raining at time of collision).

Emergency personnel from the Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Salyer Fire Department, and Hoopa Ambulance responded to the scene to provide emergency medical care.

Ms. McConnell was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Ms. Peters and the 9 year old male juvenile were transported to Mad River Community Hospital with moderate to major injuries.  It does not appear impairment was a factor in the collision, however;  CHP continues to investigate the collision.



  • What’s up with all the fatal accidents lately

    • I was wondering that myself.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Yeah, it gets worse all the time. Bad drivers everywhere, in town, out of town. Sorry for the family, but it’s just luck that another rig was not taken with these unfortunate people. Very scary.

      • Don’t make assumptions dude, you don’t know what happened; she was my friend. Imagine it was yours and please try to display some respect.

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    One reason is that the vehicles these days have way too much horsepower and the drivers thinks that they are race car drivers and can handle any situation. And in some parts of our County, the roads were not designed for that type of driving. Just saying.

    • sharpen your pencil

      So far. The problem has been more drugs and alcohol related, especially in that area. However the claim of everyone thinking they are Ricky Bobby with too much horsepower is purely laughable. That sounds like the press release would read coming from the tribal council, “it’s not their fault they were drunk and driving recklessly, the cars have too much power. So therefore it’s the cars fault!”

      • sharpen your pencil

        Just saying

      • Lol clearly it wasn’t said it was the cars fault. Pushing the limits too much

      • I don’t understand how people could be so cruel. You are one sick miserable person to be talking about someone who’s now deceased. How dare you. What will people say about you when you die? What type of person do you want to be remembered as? You need to reevaluate your life. Prayers to you and your dark soul

      • Your so nieve, yes we as a tribe and town may have some issues, but regardless of that we still have much respect for all people especially in times of hurt and loss! Any response from our tribe would be that of condolences and prayers for all those involved. You my friend are the heartless one, instead of sending condolences for the parties involved in the terrible accident, you instead choose to point finger and judge people and a town you dont even know! How about using all that energy and knowledge that you have to do something positive instead of helping tear people down.

      • Have some respect

        You are the problem with the world today. Save the judgement. You didn’t know this person. You don’t know what a wonderful and beloved person we lost today. You don’t know how this person loved everyone and how this person never judged people the way you just did. I have much worse to say to you, but out of respect for the loss of such a wonderful peaceful person I will not. Crawl back into your web, in your deep dark cave. We will stand in the light and honor the one we lost today.

      • You make some good points sharpen your pencil.

      • you don’t even know the circumstances that lead to this accident so your comments are very inappropriate and very rude. sure, there are a lot of people who drink alcohol and use drugs on our reservation, but there aren’t many places in the whole u.s. that doesn’t have this problem. furthermore, you could try to come up with solutions instead of pointing your stink finger at people and a place you have no knowledge of. get over yourself and get off your high-horse.

      • Are you for real? It was 8am drugs and alcohol being a factor while she had her child with her??? You are the fucking problem with this world!!! How about blaming the county for not putting a railing up on a corner well known for accidents….may her children have the strength to get through this awful heartbreak, and her family mourn in peace. I’m so sorry for your loss

        • No where does it say alcohol or drugs were a factor. I’d fact it says, and I quote, ” it does not appear that impairment was a factor in this collision”

        • sharpen your pencil

          I’m making a point… so the young lady that wrecked around the same time a few months back wasn’t drunk with her kids in the car when she passed, just saying…. Time of day has nothing to do with someone’s drinking. That being said I’m sorry for your loss, in a way it is a relief to hear it wasn’t impairment related. You don’t know what I know, I do know many people from the rez that are definitely screwing it up, and that’s why I don’t talk to them.

          The fact is, that all the issues going on with hupa want to be pawned off on the growers and everyone else is pathetic…

      • i can assure you this was not the case. dont be so quick to throw drunk Indian accusations. this was the most amazing young mother, such a wonderful light. the most lovely of traditional people. a very sad loss to her her kids, her parents her community.

      • Unkind words and cruel comments seem to be the norm with some people. You don’t know anything about this young lady, her life or what a wonderful person she was. Yet here you sit typing your poison that spreads like a cancer. You need to keep your comments to yourself. Her family and friends are grieving with such pain which by the way I feel you are incapable of ever feeling or knowing, by the comments you freely make. As for the roads you haven’t even a clue how dangerous they could be on a clear day let alone on the conditions she was driving. It’s unforgiving and theirs no room for mistakes. As a parting question comes to mind. Your probably one of those people who plan on voting for Trump the Chump aren’t you.

    • Have some respect

      You don’t know what you’re talking about that road is dangerous even for safe drivers and responsible wonderful people like the one who passed. So disrespectful.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      No more excuses. You drive consistently with road conditions and weather conditions. Period. Anything else is murder/suicide.

      • How do you know for a fact that a deer or a bear or some animal was not crossing the road? Murder and suicide [edit]

  • That particular corner has eaten quite a few cars.

  • The bad weather, lack of steal nets to prevent road debris, bald tires on wet roads, and ice is the fastest form of erosion are just some factors for any of these mountain roads.

  • Look at how Many accidents on HIGHWAY 36 just had a weak last week no one was killed but there’s more crosses on this road than Carter’s got liver pills Jimmy carters bro billy circa 1978 anyway I think it is a little bit of both people thinking they are Mario Andretti ,and under the influence but my condolences to the person family who lost there life in this accident RIP

  • she was a young mother of 2 and a beautiful soul. .. she will be missed…heartbroken 🙁

  • So sad. Car accidents are the most likely way to die for people in their prime.

  • Too soon, too sad.

    Heartbreaking. RIP Stormy, I will always remember your smiling face in High School.

  • Come on people. Please give some respect to the family. May prayers and love be given to all involved.

  • The people with the negative comments are terrible. This was my ex sister in law. For all you who are judging her, you should know she was a wonderful young native mother. She had strong traditional beliefs, her step father is the chairman of the Yurok tribe. She comes from a loving family. The family lost her brother, my ex 7 years ago on the same exact day. May he rest in peace, I wish people weren’t so hateful to make snud comments. She was a daughter, mother, sister, auntie, cousin and just know she will be missed by many for how beautiful and bright hearted she was. She had a smile so big it could light up a room and also for another fact I know this girl has never touched drugs in her life and to be honest I haven’t even seen her to be much of a drinker ever not one drink in the whole 5 years that I was a part of her family.

  • Stormy was an amazing person! She was a beautiful representative of her tribe, an amazing mother, and one of the best people one could hope to meet. I loved her dearly and will miss her beyond words!

    • Ditto that….always had a smile and hug for me and my children; she treated all like that. Kept her traditions close to her heart while respecting all others’. Listen to “Sissies Song” on youtube. That’s Storm all the way. She was a Being of light in this world of darkness.

      We do have many problems in Indian Country…too many to list…pointing fingers at government, history, trauma is easy. Now we have to look at how we are failing each other in Indian Country. Elders and dance leaders allowed alcohol influenced men to dance for years. Party until the rodeo grounds dance(led by a dance leader) was over and then head to a child’s ceremonial dance to send drunken prayers? Change the way our ancestors prayed over the fire for Thousands of years?
      Allow people to dance who have not “settled up” and therefore bring bad to to dance and prayers? We could go on and on…
      Tribal chair…more drinking then leading…cronyism. ..nepotism…

  • Prayers to all family and friends of this special light that graced us!

  • This never should have happened. </3

  • Words are powerful. They can hurt or heal. Stormy was my best friend of over 40 years niece. I pray she never reads some of these comments, they would devastate her even more than she already is. Be kind please.

  • Many years ago, I was fortunate to have been one of Stormy’s teachers. She showered the classroom with her warm, glowing light and lovely spirit. Everyone loved Stormy . I never knew how she came to be named “Stormy.” I never asked her and should’ve. It certainly did not reflect her sweet , loving nature. Perhaps, she was born during a wild winter storm. This news made my heart break for the many that loved and treasured her. I now see her soaring far above this world , and as always, with heart as her compass.

  • A very sad news – it was really needed to be extra careful on driving especially under the weather. It was also a responsible gesture of putting a kid on rear passenger seat; it was safer place in a car for a kid. Praying for the recovery of the survivors.

  • it is such a statement of humanity when people opt not give a condolence but coffer their judgments.
    rest in peace dear, i did not know you but those who did describe you firstly as generous and then wonderful…i know you brothers are waiting for you <3

  • There are traffic fatalities all the time in the mountains, and I don’t hear people so quick to rush to judgement, but in this case? With a native woman? People need to get over the racist knee-jerk reactions. No one who knew Stormy would ever rush to such judgement so it really goes against the grain to hear that kind of stuff.

    Anyway, I’ve driven the mountain roads long enough to know that this was most likely either her avoiding a deer, or another car. There could have been a drunk driver careening into her lane coming from the opposite direction, but my biggest assumption is that it was a deer. Any word from the other passengers?

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