In Loving Memory of Four Who Died This Day

This section includes both obituaries and memories. Honoring our loved ones who have died does not end immediately after their passing. We recognize that… so we’re extending our obituary section to include individuals who may have left a long time ago. If you want to remember someone who is gone, either recently or longer ago, please send a photo and a few sentences to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Tell us why you would like to honor the person–is it their birthday, the date of their passing or some other date of significance to you.

Passengers Stevie Shroyer, 19, of Garberville; Stephanie Hubbard, 20, of Scotia; Nathan Titus, 21, and Jessica Toste, 23, both of Ferndale, drowned in the lake as a result of the crash.

Stephanie Hubbard, age 20, of Scotia; Nathan Titus, age 21, of Ferndale; Jessica Toste, age 23, of Ferndale; Stevie Shroyer, age 19, of Garberville drowned in Ruth Lake as the result of a car crash.

On this day in 2007 four young people drowned and two more were injured when a car crashed into Ruth Lake.

Photo placed here in loving memory of those lost by Brad Senseman.

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52 comments

  • So sad.they were so young.brings tears to my eyes still.

  • Thank you Kym for recognizing these four very missed people. Stephanie Hubbard was my best friend, and not a day goes by that I don’t have a heart that weighs a ton. She was one of a kind, and a super bright light that shined to light up this world and bring smiles to everyone’s faces! So thank you for posting this.

    • Sometimes knowing that other people miss the ones you miss makes the pain easier. I’m glad that we’ve got a forum here for folks to share memories.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Good job, Kym. Am I a bad person for wondering what was the final resolution for the driver? I remember he was not exactly a community asset before this tragedy. What happened to him versus getting ten years of hard time in Sheridan, OR federal prison for over-gardening? I note no link to the original report(s).

        • The p.o.s only spent a few months in jail and then off to live his happy drunk life. He already had one DUI before killing these kids.

          • Not factual at all.

            • Lost Croat Outburst

              Not factual? Try going to the link Kym provided below and see how much time the perp did for killing four people. Like I Have said before, if you want to kill somebody, do it with a car. Note how excellent the appeal lawyer was. Isn’t he involved with the current cold case in Fortuna with the hit-and-run deaths of the two girls? Any arrests yet? Always get a very good lawyer. Watch for the transfer or resignation of LEOs after the Fortuna case chills out. Something got very messed up.

          • A Real Ma Grower

            They jumped into the car with an obviously drunk person driving. they are responsible for their own well being. Bad decision on their part also, obviously! All were drinking I presume, so to hold one drinker or drunk to a higher standard is deadly in this case! Such a sad story, but also one to use when talking to your kids about the danger of drinking and driving and riding with drinking drivers!

            • When people die due to climbing into a vehicle with a DUI driver, they pay the price when they die!!! The driver HAS to be held for his part in the horrible choice he makes!!! Your messed up way of thinking is only enabling people to think its okay to go out and drive under the influence. You just wait until it’s one of your family members who is killed by a carless DUI driver and you won’t be so quick to stick up for the driver!!

        • He has been out for several years. Last I heard he lived locally. He has a family of his own now.

  • Not a community asset? He did four years in the marines. A good kid who made a bad choice, which by the way, he paid for. Not only in doing time but also suffering the loss of four dear friends which he deals with every day!

    • Well put. So very tragic.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      He made more than one bad choice. You have embarrassed yourself through wilful ignorance. He did all four years of a Marine hitch? If memory serves, he got booted out. The job at the family ranch was his last attempt at redemption. Deals with it every day? Right. You’re making a bad joke, right?

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        OK, I read Baker’s essay on the event. Good for him. He should feel bad and people can stop pretending it was just an accident. I believe in forgiveness and second chances so if the victim families can let it go, I guess I can. But no pretending about what happened being some Act of God. To me, the whole God thing is just a cop-out, but fine, let it go. We all need forgiveness once in a while.

  • I’m thinking their parents and grandparents are thinking him “dealing with it everyday” is nothing compared to THEIR loss… He killed FOUR children, he’s alive… They’re dead….

  • Bad decisions made by all!

    A lot of bad choices were made that night, including the decision to get in a car with an impaired driver. Sad but true, any one of them could’ve been the so called “P.O.S” driver!

    • Not me. I never drink & drive! My hammered ass always knows better. They were young and going along with the older ones actions. They trusted the older ones in the group. They trusted they knew what they were doing. The driver was the adult in the group. He had a chance to be a responsible adult and teach the younger newbie adults how to be responsible and safe when drinking. Now they are just a lesson to other young adults faced with the same scenario and memories that lay on the hearts of their loved ones for the rest of their days.

  • A Real Ma Grower

    As sad as this is, people need to take responsibility for their own safety! All of them got into a car with a intoxicated driver……maybe so they didn’t have to drive drunk? I know this is not a popular opinion, but had they all said no, I’m not getting in the car with you because you have been drinking, they would all be here today! Those who died have the same responsibility as the driver to not make bad…deadly decisions! The driver didn’t cross the center divider and hit a car load of them head on….they willingly hopped in his car probably thinking about who was gonna do who when they got back to camp as teenagers do. Just a terrible terrible accident!

    • A Real Ma Grower ~[edit] when young people climb into a vehicle and die because they are with a drunk driver yes they are guilty and they pay the ultimate price!! BUT the driver also has to pay the price!!! Why make excuses for the drivers choice??? I don’t understand your mentality?!?!?!?!? IT IS NEVER OK TO DRINK AND DRIVE….NEVER!!!!!!!!!

  • Lets at least get this one thing straight. Cody irresponsibly took, not four, but six lives in his hands that night. He did something terribly irresponsible which ultimately ended in tragedy. Himself and one other shitty individual survived that night. He was coked out and drunk…he deserved to put in jail much longer than he served point blank…. The amount of tragedy he placed on a community was unrepairable. While EVERYONE should be responsible for their own actions, I fully believe Cody should have been held responsible for his own as well….and he didn’t serve the time he should have for killing four people…..

  • Aw, I know Nate Titus’s father, Cliff. What a heartbreak for their family.

  • I had some great times with Nate, his laugh and positive personality were infectious. Jessica had a good heart and was always looking out for her friends.

    I burn into my children’s heads not to drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking … I use these deaths of my friends as an example.

  • Holy crap people, this was posted as a memorial for the 4 lives lost, it’s not the freaking proper place to turn into a discussion of what you think about the driver.
    Here’s an idea: If you do not have anything nice to say about the 4 people this was meant to honor, just keep it to yourself.
    I’m so over all the loco commenters sudden high jacking of the comments sections, can we get back to being nice on Kym’s blog? Thanks

    • Very well said. I have been thinking the same lately

    • I’ve been so busy that I’ve only been skimming comments. I’ll try to pay closer attention.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      The behavior that resulted in this tragedy was 100% avoidable. The idea of the circumstances being swept under the rug and never spoken of again to preserve the feelings of the perp and his supporters is a non-starter. People who knew the vic’s should reminisce and the rest of us will talk about murdering drunk drivers so maybe someone else’s life will be saved. Poor Mr. Baker gets to think about what he did. So do the families of the victims. The victims think of nothing.

  • Nate and Jessica were good friends of mine as well as Cody. That accident was just that a terrible accident. My heart hurts for all the families and for Cody who was outcast by his own friends and community. I am proud to say I am still friends with Cody to this day. He has turned his life around and is a wonderful friend husband and father. He has to live with what happened that day and that is a lot. He served his time that was given to him by our justice system. Yes they all made a horrible choice by getting into that car but it was their decision. It was also their decision to get high and drunk. Cody didn’t force any of that. So why continue to bash him for something he didn’t do and that is this. He did not make anyone get high and drunk and get in his car. Yes he was impaired and drove and guess what. The unthinkable happened. He lives with that daily. Those were his friends. You don’t think he would take it all back and go back in time and change what happened. I know for a fact he would if he could. That being said I will say this. Cody I am so proud of the man you have become. Your a good man. I am happy to be your friend for life. I miss Nate and Jessica more than anything but I have let go of the blame and have faith in the path you were given. I am not a coward and will not be hiding behind a fake name. My name is Kelly Chadbourne. If you don’t care for me because what I have said I really don’t give a shit. RIP Jessica and Nate!

    • Thank you for the kind words.

    • Just goes to show how it still effects everyone to this day. Glad he is doing better, too bad they are not.

    • Thank You Kelly, this was just such a tragedy for all. When I first saw this post, I clicked sad, but wanted to click love also, because it’s so nice to see their pictures up. Keeping their memory alive. Thanks Kym. I don’t know any of them personally. But I know some of the surviving close friends and family. I’ll never forget that day. May they all rest in peace, may the survivors find peace. May the family and friends find peace.

    • sharpen your pencil

      I am with you, there were so many people that have died via drinking and driving, or just horrible accidents l, all within a few years of this accident. We all have a duty to teach our children the right and responsible way to handle these situations so that maybe soon this cycle can end! Many people in this community have lost friends and family we will never get back because of decisions made. I know I have lost more than a fair share of people in my lifetime already…. Sadly this continues to this day, hopefully one day soon this will change. I graduated in 04 from EHS, had many classes with Nate and can say for sure he is missed by many people he was an awesome person and I am glad to have known him.

    • Thank you Kelly.
      I don’t want to try to put words in Cody’s mouth, so I will speak about the Cody that I know…the person that I’ve known for essentially his entire life…

      Cody will be the first person to tell you, and *anyone and everyone* willing to listen, that he lives with the guilt, from that night, every single day; and he has sought to make his life one of purpose and meaning. Cody wants to make a difference. He speaks at schools, and to young people, about the dangers of drinking and driving. If you’ve been drinking, he will drive over an hour out of his way to pick you up from where you are, to prevent you from making the same mistake that he did. Cody today is a different man from the Cody before that tragic night, more purposeful, more grateful, and he counts every day as a blessing.

      He won’t say this, but I will…if memory serves me correctly, Cody had the lowest BAC out of all the people in the car. He stopped the person who wanted to drive, from driving, because he (naively) believed that he was better equipped, and he was trying to do the right thing.
      That night, as the legal record shows, was a perfect storm of *tragically* unfortunate events and horrible mistakes, made by everyone involved. This is not an excuse, this is the factual record. Obviously, we know how the rest of the night turned out. A nightmare from which no one can wake up. Cody nearly died as well. There were many times that he wished that he had died with them, and he would have gladly given his life for any of the others who lost theirs. Once he was out of the hospital, Cody did his time in prison as well.

      The Hwy around Ruth Lake is dangerous under the BEST of circumstances. I’ve lost count of how many people I know, and people I loved, who have been in accidents, hurt, or killed on the roads around that lake.

      Cody posted this, publicly (not privately), on social media over the weekend. It is long, so below I have pasted only a couple of excerpts. I share this in the HOPE that those who do not know him may have a moment of compassion, of empathy, and try to be able to see into the heart of this man. He has made mistakes and paid dearly for them. He will continue to try to earn the second chance at life that he has, for the rest of his days, with humility and grace.

      For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen the drivers of similarly deadly accidents posting anything nearly as humble and sincere…or posting anything at all, regarding the lives that were lost when they were behind the wheel.

      —————————————————–
      A portion of Cody’s words on September 3rd, 2016:

      ‘This weekend is never an easy one. The pain, hurt, guilt, and sorrow is stronger on this weekend than any other weekend for obvious reasons.
      Nine years ago this evening, four young lives were already taken way too soon from this world. Nine years ago this evening I was in an unconscious state where I didn’t know if I was alive or dead, fighting for a second chance that I didn’t know was going to be afforded to me.
      Four young adults/friends lost their lives because of my decisions to drink and drive. I am sorry so many times over and I pray for an outlet to make those apologies heard to the people that need to hear them the most. Time has passed, but sometimes I feel like I may never truly heal. I can’t seem to let go of the past and too often find myself revisiting those places of deepest hurt instead mindfully acknowledging the past, accepting it, and moving forward. A lot of times I am scared that if I fully heal, I will be able to put the past behind with no more guilt moving forward. But then I feel like if I don’t have any guilt, I won’t have any remorse either. And I don’t know if I want that extreme sorrow for the pain I have caused to go away. It almost feels like it should be a penance. And I can’t even explain to you how sorry I am that I caused this all to happen. I wish I could carry that hurt for all affected.
      On the other side I am blessed in so many ways. And often question how I got so lucky. I often say by the grace of God I am here today. And because I’ve had an amazing support group of family and friends that love me more than I can sometimes comprehend. You all are the real reason I am who I am today. And never will I be able to thank you enough for the continued love and support you all have shown….

      So Nate, Jessica, Stephanie, and Stevie I love your souls very much, I miss you every day, and I am sorry every day. But I promise to you that I will keep going, for I believe that’s what you would really want me to do in this life. I always hope you are looking down with approval for the choices I have made this far. There are so many people that love and miss you, and we look back on our fondest memories with smiles and laughter because I’m pretty sure that’s what you would want for us too. RIP my friends.
      I will leave you with this because I think a lot of us can relate.
      ‘It’s been a long day without you, my friends
      And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
      We’ve come a long way from where we began
      Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
      When I see you again’

      -Wiz/Charlie Puth
      We will see you again. Much love.”
      —————————————————–

      Kelly, I’m not sure if we’ve met, but I want to tell you that I have an incredible amount of respect for you, for your bravery, and for publicly putting your name out there in support of, and for, Cody. You are amazing and courageous. Thank you. I have chosen to keep my name anonymous to protect family members who could (and likely would) experience repercussions from my words. I love my home town, but, alas, sadly, small towns are not always kind.
      -SS

    • Nice he got married and has a wonderful life. Those 4 people he killed never will have a chance to have a good life thanks to that POS. Karma is a very powerful thing.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      It WAS NOT just a terrible accident. It was 100% avoidable and your efforts to change the truth will never change the truth.

  • Cody Baker’s attorney (BEN OKIN) was the same SLIME BALL who is representing MARCIA KITCHEN (HIT & RUN MOM) who ran her own daughter and her daughters friend down and left their bodies lying in the road and in the bushes to die then hid her vehicle moments later…..BEN OKIN is also the same SLIME BALL representing KADE CHANDLER for the gross vehicular manslaughter of two young girls while driving under the influence of alcohol and weed, coke and opiates. I believe this Kade character is finally supposed to be having is preliminary hearing this month (its been a year and a half for the girls families of waiting for these court proceedings). BEN OKIN loves trying to send the message that IT IS OK TO GO OUT AND KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE IF YOU WANNA DRINK AND DRIVE. JUST PAY ME LOTS OF MONEY $$$ AND WE WILL TRY GETTING YOU OFF OR SHAVE SOME TIME OFF A STIFF SENTENCE FOR A CRIME YOU SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOR LIFE FOR.

  • Went to high school with all but two of them. Cody baker, Stephanie Hubbard, Nate Titus, and Jessica toste. All were great human beings. I dated stephanie for a year in high school and could tell you how sweet and caring she was. Always had a thirst for life and adventure. Nate was a class clown. Always the funny guy with an infectious laughter. I saw him maybe a month before this and this guy was getting everything together for a great life. I didn’t know Jessica all that well. Mainly just small talk in the hallways. That didn’t stop me from noticing how many smiles she put on peoples faces. Cody was a senior when I was a sophomore. He was a football/basketball star for the highschool. He was charming, nice, and well liked. My respect for him went up when I heard of his enlistment. He made a horrible choice and it hurts him daily. He gathered himself after getting released and now lives in the bay area with a great job, beautiful wife and kid(s), and lives every day for his fallen friends. I miss you guys and and can’t wait to see you again someday.

  • …. Did anyone read the story about the Weed Raid on the Pomo Rancheria??

    The suspect from that raid was Zachary Diamond, which was also the only other person to survive the car accident… I suppose it could be someone else, be we live in a small town.

    This week is historically bad for that guy. : /

  • I myself wouldn’t have stood for his sentence if he did this to my kids or family member I would have been judge jury and executioner no if and’s or butt’s about it. And how was he able to run off and be a marine isn’t manslaughter a felony charge which means no gun’s. Our legal system has been a joke for awhile and until people start taking care of stuff themselves it’s probably going to stay that way. I don’t see how this guy ever seen the inside of a court room for a trial.

  • Probably not but it would make them think twice if they knew that Daddy was going to take care of shit if they didn’t my kids are my life someone hurts them I hurt them and it would get dropped down to insanity maybe do five years I would be OK with that if they caught me.

    • sharpen your pencil

      You keep thinking that keyboard warrior! Or you get life….. And the saga of pain continues, I see your thoughts as I have kids of my own. Have you ever heard “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind” it is very true!

  • I think to worth mentioning is the fact that the only two survivors were the “adults” in the car. weren’t the deceased underage? one of the survivors substantially older than the rest, yet he wasn’t charged at all? where is the follow through for contributing to the delinquency, causing or leading to death? dont let your daughters date men 10 years older when still in high school…or party at ruth all weekend with those men…

  • Nasty Nate and Stephanie Hubbard and j toste are ferndale legends and there legacy will never be forgotten…. I miss y’all and keep the tradition alive in your memory!!!! Rip nasty Nate…

  • I have never met Cody Baker but, here is my opinion on the young man. Cody Baker manned up when this choice of his took the lives of 4 young lives. I remember following this case and I do not recall him ever trying to weezle his way out of this by trying to blame one of those whom parished in the wreck. He did the time and then went on to speak to schools full of young people about his tragedy and from what it sounds like he continues to do this. And now I read this letter of complete and heartfelt sorrow. I know there are people who want to continue to call him names and say he should be locked up for life. But, again in my opinion, he served his time and now the time he has left here on earth is much better served reaching out to other young people and sharing his story. Do NOT get me wrong……I do not condone what happened!! There are others whom could learn something from Cody Baker, namely Marcia Kitchen and Kade Chandler. These two are POS’s in the true since of the word. Marcia for hiding and not accepting blame for her horrific actions. And Kade for playing the blame game! Step up and accept what you have done, do your time and learn from Cody Baker on how to live the rest of your shameful lives.

  • Thank you, Kym and Brad. Peace to the families. Love you Jes.

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