Teenage Girl Dead After Being Struck by Vehicle; Driver Arrested
This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On the evening of Wednesday, December 14th, one female teenage pedestrian sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a passing vehicle.
At approximately 8:07 p.m., James Arthur Merrick , of McKinleyville, was turning his 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 from eastbound Anna Sparks Way onto northbound Central Avenue. The juvenile pedestrian was walking northbound on the east shoulder of Central Avenue, north of Anna Sparks Way. For reasons still under investigation Mr. Merrick allowed his vehicle to drive off the roadway and onto the east shoulder of Central Avenue striking the juvenile pedestrian. The vehicle continued eastbound on the shoulder until it collided into a light pole. Merrick attempted to flee the scene of the collision but was detained by several witnesses until Law Enforcement arrived on scene. The juvenile pedestrian was transported to Mad River Community Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Merrick was placed under arrest and alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this traffic collision. The California Highway Patrol-Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation.