Deceased Bull From Earlier Accident Caused Fatal Crash From Which Driver Fled

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

On 08-05-2016, at approximately 10:20 PM, a 1998 Honda Civic with four reported occupants was traveling southbound on US-101, north of the Redcrest off-ramp.  As the Honda was driving, it struck a bull in the roadway and overturned.  Once the Honda came to rest, the driver reportedly fled on foot.  The front passenger in the Honda sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene.  [Two 17-year-old males were passengers.] Caltrans was notified of the collision and responded to the scene to assist with traffic control.

Cal Fire, Scotia Fire, Redcrest Fire, Rio Dell Fire, Rio Dell Police, City Ambulance, and Humboldt County Coroner were also on scene.

The identity of the deceased passenger is currently being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

This incident, including attempting to identify the driver, remains under active investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

We spoke to the CHP and they confirmed that the bull was deceased before it was struck.

UPDATE: Multiple Close Calls With Cattle in the Redcrest Area Prior to Fatal Accident; CHP Trying to Determine Responsibility

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47 comments

  • I imagine there will be quite an uproar in this community if the person who fled this accident gets arrested before there is an arrest in the tragic hit and run in Fortuna!!

  • So it was dead when he hit it or it died from him hitting it?

  • Oh wow. Very sad! But… why was there a deceased bull in the road? Quite puzzling indeed.

    • Could it have fallen from a transport truck without the driver noticing, and died by impacting the roadway? Dunno.

  • If the driver thought s/he’d hit a live person, instead of a dead bull, well then status quo would be to run. af

  • Who would leave a deceased bull in the road, not stopping to alert other drivers? Who would be in a terrible accident where your fellow passengers may be fighting for life and would choose to run away? Is it just me or is our area extra-concentrated with very bad citizens? These are basic life-and-death decisions!

  • First this is a horrible tragedy, and my thoughts are with the unfortunate people involved.

    Am not a l lawyer, I just play one on the blogs, but I think that if a bull runs in front of you it is the bulls fault if it is hit. However, if the bull is dead, and in the roadway, it would become the drivers fault for failure to drive safely withing the road conditions. Subtle difference, but a huge legal difference in responsibility.

    • I don’t think there is a legal requirement of the driver to remove the animal from the road. There is a certainly ethical one, but not a legal one. It’s a result of the “no duty to save” legal doctrine. That’s why there are always deer everywhere on the road. It would actually be the legal responsibility of the owner of the bull. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true, I’m fairly certain. Additionally, bulls specifically fall under a special category with increased liability for the owner.

      • Dawn
        You make a lot of sense. You are right that the livestock owner has the responsibility to keep them off the road. If the bull causes the accident it would be the bull’s fault and by extension the bulls owners fault. I wonder if the responsibility of the second accident would extend back to the bulls owner? The owner will be easy to find, the bull should have a brand. Where are those livestock deputies when you need them?

        I still think that some responsibility will land on the driver for failing to drive safely within road conditions, and definitely for leaving the scene of an accident. Does the “no duty to save” legal doctrine extend to the bull being dead in the road? Therefore not the bull owners fault?

        Okay, I quit being a lawyer, it’s too complicated.

    • If you swerve and someone dies it would be a “wrongful death”
      If you hit the cow, the cow would be branded and/or tagged and the owner would be responsible for the death.
      The cows owner is under question of ownership as are the exact people of who were actually in the vehicle.
      The are unknown on the driver since no one will fess up.
      That’s my story, and it was my sister who was killed.
      I too want to know more, trust me………………….

  • I hope this is not a prank gone horribly wrong. I can see teenagers thinking putting a dead bull in the road would be funny, not expecting the worse.

  • Sad situation. But also wondering about the case involving the 2 poor girls that were killed. It’s kind of fallen off the radar. What is going on with the Kitchen woman that apparently hit her own child along with the other poor girl and left the scene and left them to die alone!! We would like to know what is going on. This has been in the public eye so much and has affected so many people personally and emotionally, we’d really like to know what is going on with this situation!!

  • shawnee craddock

    Better not arrest anyone for darn near anything until marcy kitchen is arrested! They have really dropped the ball on those two little girls …our local goverment or police.lawyers judges are a discrace.

  • So, anyone else notice that one of the passengers is also a passenger from that fatal crash on the 36 two or so years ago where 4 out of 8 occupants died? Pretty sure its the same kid….

  • Just a wild guess but the driver fled perhaps because of DUI.

  • The driver fled on foot? Maybe that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

  • Wow, guess people think when they kill someone in an accident it’s ok to leave the scene. Thinking the accident with the two girls set a trend for other people to think they too can get away with it. Sickening.

    • Running after someone is killed in an accident is turning to the way to do it around here. It’s sad these people dont take responsibility in these fatal accidents, run, then end up with a slap on the wrist when they decide to come forward. I say if you run, it should automatically be punished as if it was worse case scenario…. Plus an addition charge on top for fleeing or running from the scene. Might discourage some of these jack asses from taking of after killing someone.

  • Maybe there is no other driver, the people in the car made up this story to escape responsibility.

  • I read on a previous thread about this accident, that a Red crest local said that some one wrecked with a stock trailer a few day earlier and they couldn’t catch that bull. So mabey that’s the case…

  • Mr. Okin, you have another client

  • 4 people in car?
    Driver ran?
    2 passangers 17 yr old males?
    What exactly is the story here?
    Very confusing writing…maybe you should wait for the facts before posting anything..?

  • Aren’t you supposed look way ahead just to be safe I look ahead al the time .must be asleep at the wheel I diffently would see a bull in the road ,and drive around it then call chp .,but alas it will be delt with like marci kitchen case.

  • I’ve come very close to hitting a black cow out by Island Mt. Luckily I was going very slow as it is a narrow rd out there. But it’s was dam close! And I was straight as can be. So I agree with Kym, a dark cow would be hard to see at night.. not impossible, however by the time you seen it, you might not have time to stop. However given that the driver ran, I tend to think that mabey they were under the influence. Who ever owned those loose cattle should feel pretty bad right now, even if they aren’t held liable. Live stock can be hard to catch, but cattle are easily herded, I wonder how much of an effort was made? If CHP new there was possible cows loose by the road, mabey They should have had cal trans put up a temporary sign that said watch for cattle. They do have the lighter signs that they can have say what ever is needed. Thanks for doing a good job reporting this story Kym. I do know the deceased and she was a really good person and mother. But I’m wondering why she was on the highway that time of night with someone who would leave her like that. I wonder where they had been? So sad….

  • The daughter of the mother who was tragically killed can read all of your comments if you don’t know what happened why even comment? It’s rude and blaint just stop. Show respect for the deceaseds family.

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