[UPDATE 7:55 p.m.] Major Traffic Accident, One Fatality by Pepperwood Exit

A multi-vehicle traffic collision near the Pepperwood exit has blocked three lanes of Hwy 101. The scanner is calling for multiple extrications. More ambulances have been requested and two air ambulances are “on order.”

A report from the scene reports there are five walking wounded, three in critical condition, one in serious condition.

Currently, there is one way controlled traffic.

This has activated a Major Incident Command. a system of response called a Multiple Casualty Incident–This is used very rarely.

PLEASE avoid the area if possible. Remember you can take the Avenue but drive slowly. It will be busy.

UPDATE 3:43 P.M.: Hwy 101 is going to be closed. A helicopter is on the way but won’t get there until around 4:30. Multiple agencies are responding.
UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: The plan currently is to land the helicopter(s) north of the accident on Hwy 101.
UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: The plan is to shut down southbound entirely at Rio Dell so helicopter can land.
UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: A second helicopter is on its way to the incident. (There is now a five car accident north of Eureka.)
UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: One person is confirmed dead. One of the helicopters is cancelled. One helicopter is on scene at this time.
UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: According to a Caltrans spokesperson, “There was a crossover collision with unknown injuries at this time, and the road is fully closed. Caltrans crews are on their way and we’ll know more when they get there. We currently don’t have an estimated time of opening traffic. Motorists might want to consider using Avenue of the giants as an alternate route.”
UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: Photo courtesy of KMUD. Terri Klemetson provided it to them.
Even after the helicopter is gone, expect the highway to be impacted as emergency personnel will be getting equipment off highway and clearing up the wrecks.

UPDATE 4:29 p.m.: All southbound traffic has been diverted to the Avenue by exit 671, according to scanner traffic.

UPDATE 7:55 p.m.: Here’s some photos by Mike Cuddihy,

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  • Hope everyone will be ok

  • Praying for all 🙁

  • Damn. Northbound or southbound?

  • Just heard on scanner that all southbound traffic is stopped.

  • Yep prayers 😇

  • clearlake fool

    friday the thirteenth is a bad day on HWY 101
    hope they not hurt too bad

  • Isn’t this the 2nd or 3rd accident in this area in a week ?? There is construction going on in the area….people need to slow down while driving thru construction areas…..the law says 40-45 highway and 10-15 city…..I sure hope everybody is going to be ok…….

  • I just got around it. It must of happened 5 minutes before I got to it. Looked like 3 vehicles were involved. Prayers for the injured.

  • veterans friend

    There is one fatality. Critical patient being airlifted now. 4:05 pm

  • Looked real bad . There was a brand new white Durango up on the rail and a gold 4 door car they were extracting some one from .all in northbound lane

  • I passed it literally right after it happened when one car was still smoking and no flares or cops or anything was there yet. I was headed south and it looked like the collision happened on the northbound lanes and finally passed a calfire truck around weott and then nothing until I finally passed some cops and fire trucks and an ambulance until between Miranda and pville exit. Crazy this is the second wreck I passed that had just happened literally seconds before I came upon it to where they had no flares out yet even, just another car was rolled on its side just right before briceland around 4pm yesterday.

  • One white suv was up half way on the guardrail and it looked like a gold car too I didn’t see the third though but they both were in the northbound lanes but facing south

  • Virginia Graziani

    My partner just called (4:30) — he was coming southbound from Rio Dell. He got off at the Pepperwood exit OK and is progressing slowly down Ave. Apparently people can get on/off the Ave OK at Pepperwood and Redcrest.
    Very sad for victims and their loved ones.

  • It’s not a major incident command. It’s called an mci, or multiple casualty incident.

  • I am nervous driving everyday. This morning on my way to work in Eureka there was crash on the corridor, and when I got off at 5 and was coming back to Mckinleyville there was another one. Cars backed up a long way. It was the opposite direction/ lane, but it’s getting nerve wracking for me. My anxiety is getting worse daily.

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    When people are passing me up@ 65mph like im standing still, you can bet things change really fast at 80mph… too many video games?… really sad, please slow down folks.

  • Just got home (Miranda) from Fortuna. Detour from Redcrest, on the Avenue. Can’t complain when the detour takes you thru such a beautiful area . it’s too bad it takes a terrible accident to get us to remember to stop and slow down and enjoy where we are. I understand this was a terrible 5 car accident. Prayers to families involved. Be safe out there.

  • veterans friend

    I am curious about the folks who say they just got around it…no flares out yet.
    IMO EVERYONE should carry flares in your trunk. Right next to your spare tire & jack. You might save someones life, or your own. They are cheap & easy to light. Blankets, water, first aid stuff. We live & travel in an area where emergency response can be many minutes away. BE PREPARED TO HELP not just drive around it. It could so easily be any one of us.

    • It was chaos when I drive through . No flares but there were 10 cars with hazards on and a lot of people pre occupied with life saving . Your right , people need to carry flares and first aid supplies . Also learn to use them . Please don’t text and drive . I’ve seen some agregeous examples of that lately .

  • The white SUV was not a new Durango, I have a new Durango and can tell you that this was a GMC or Somethting else. And there has bee 3 accidents in a week in this area. Please drive with awareness in this area!!

  • Pingback: CHP Says McKinleyville Man Transported to Redding, 21-Year-Old Dead After Accident Near Pepperwood – Redheaded Blackbelt

  • I was in a line of traffic south of the Peg House waiting to get through the one-lane construction by-pass when three cop cars, lights flashing and sirens whooping, raced north in the south bound lane. We had seen them at an accident on 101 a few miles south of the Peg House where a guy hit the guard rail and scattered a lot of his stuff on the road. I wondered what could be taking them away from the accident, and causing them to take the risk of driving for several miles on the wrong side of a twisting two lane road with the other lane bumper to bumper vehicles, leaving them no room to dodge anyone heading south. Now it is clear. Sad.

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