[UPDATE Tuesday] Family’s Vehicle in River; Husband Climbs Embankment

Breaking news graphicAfter a traffic accident this evening, a man who was “bloody” climbed up from his vehicle which was in the river off of Hwy 96. He requested help for his wife and child who were still “in the [vehicle] still in the river.” The incident is reportedly at mile marker 41.85 which is south of the Salmon River Road and north of Orleans.

As of 7:35 p.m., Hoopa Ambulance and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are responding Code 3 (with lights and sirens.) Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has been requested to respond also.

UPDATE 8:06 p.m.: “…His wife and kid is in the car…We’re trying to find a way down to it,” reports emergency personnel from the scene.

Happy Camp Fire has also been requested to respond.

UPDATE 8:17 p.m.: The incident commander just said to dispatch, “Check with the Coast Guard. See if they can respond….Current conditions: moderate snow.”

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Emergency personnel at the scene report, “We’re not able to reach the vehicle.”

Emergency personnel responding on Hwy 299 are warned that chains are required on Berry Summit. Snow and fog are impeding the search.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: When asked what he needed,  the Incident Commander said, “A boat and a helicopter would be ideal. A technical rescue team I believe is responding….Myself, 85, and some [?]’s are going to attempt to slip past at Whitmore Creek that will take us to the river. We’ll have to hike east about a quarter mile. We still have not laid eyes on what we understand is three victims.”

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: The California Highway Patrol Incident Page reports that Salyer Fire is responding with a boat to the scene.

UPDATE 9:05 p.m.: Here’s a map that shows with a red marker where the accident is said to be and the white dot where Whitmore Creek intersects with Hwy 96.map of a wreck and rescue scene
UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: The dispatcher reports that they are still waiting on the Coast Guard Helicopter to respond.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m.: According to the California Highway Patrol Incident Page, the “search party has found where [the vehicle] entered the river but have …not found the [vehicle].”

UPDATE 9:55 p.m.: A boat has left Eureka and, according to the CHP Incident Page, “will need [a] snow plow escort…through Willow Creek.”

UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: A slide has come in on Hwy 96 between Hoopa and Orleans. The road is now only passable by small vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol Incident Page. That does not bode well for the boat coming from Eureka.

UPDATE 11 p.m.: Caltrans is showing a slide at the same mile marker as the accident. The slide was reported at 10:36 p.m. Scanner traffic suggested that Caltrans advise that there be no school buses through there tomorrow until a contractor can check and see what can be done.

UPDATE Midnight: The California Highway Patrol have removed the incident from their site. We have not heard a direct reference over the scanner for some time. The last we heard suggested that a search would begin in the morning.

Our hearts go out to the family and to all of you hoping through the evening with us. Good night. May you and yours be safe.

UPDATE 8:25 a.m. Monday: We’ve requested more information from the California Highway Patrol and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE: Moving to new page: Slide Hampers Search for Missing Family in Crash off Hwy 96

UPDATE Tuesday: After Traffic Crash Into Klamath River, Mother and Two Children Believed to Have Died Before They Could Be Rescued





  • Oh no! Praying and wishing for their safety!

  • Prayers offered up for the wife and child…omg so scary…be safe little one 💝💝💝<😢😢😢

  • May God be with this family and all who are involved. Pray that they all can be safe.

  • Awful hope they are found ok

  • Praying for a good outcome. How scary

  • Prayers and positive thoughts for this family..

  • Please be praying for the first responders also!

  • Prayers for a swift safe rescue of the mother and child and protection for the rescue personnel. For a let up in the weather for the rescue. So very sad to read of this accident and thank you for who helped get the ems on their way.

  • I know if that were my wife and kid there will be no Force able to stop me from coming back down to get them hope all is safe

    • Big Dawg, sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people wonder if you’re an idiot as opposed to opening it and removing all doubt. You have NO idea what the circumstances are…

    • He is most likely in major shock and no matter how much he wanted to go back it would be very unsafe to let him.
      I pray for everyone involved.
      Lets use some of the new tax money to train and supply volunteer search and rescue teams in as many areas as possible. Like the sohum tech rescue crew.
      I hope the coasties can help,even just a chopper light to see better.
      Please let mom and kids be ok!!!

    • I definitely would not have left that vehicle without my kid or wife either but that’s me my heart goes out to the baby n mom

  • prayers for all involved

  • Dear Jesus. I pray. It’s so cold. Shine a light, please now. In jesus name, amen. Shine a light.🙏

  • Dear God
    Please have mercy on this family. Watch over all rescue personnel this evening. Prayer.

  • Thank you for the update and thank you Salyer FVD for the boat. Maybe someone can call upon a river guide in Somes Bar or Orleans to assist? Does the Forest Service have any boats available????

  • Jesus please help this family!!!
    Lord please help! You hold us in your hands master of time and physics please help this family!

  • Tragic news, I pray for good a outcome for all involved.

  • Please let us know what happens, in meantime all our prayers go out to this young family & hope for a happy ending. God bless.

  • Prayers and hope to all involved. Blessings for all to be safe.

  • sharpen your pencil

    Sure hope this one sounds worse than it is……

    • Me, too. For once, I’d be glad to be totally wrong.

      • sharpen your pencil

        Right…. This is horrible, if this were my wife and children there would be another body….. Can’t imagine being in this position, how horrific…. I sure hope this has a happy ending, and isn’t some sort of DUI case….

  • CHP incident log at 9:32pm… not good news. Searchers found where the vehicle entered the river, but not the vehicle.

  • Does anyone know who this is

  • Visibility was 2% when we drove through at 7 so scarry we had to pull over there was no road to see. Praying

  • I have a question. At what point can they lower the boat into the river? Can they lower it near Willow Creek or on the reservation? Or do they have to get to Orleans before anything can be done? It just seems minutes are ticking fast.

  • That’s indescribably awful. Even if they get to them, it will take hours to complete the rescue and they are over two hours from the nearest hospital. Things don’t sound promising. Hoping for the best

  • True that we all have an inate belief to pray in times of crisis. Agnostic, athiest, or otherwise. That’s nice to know. God, please, shine a light. That child is cold. That mom is cold. Please.

  • Agreed kym 🙁
    Its one of those things ive thought about when got too close to the edge on many mountain roads. It doesnt take much to slide off. Cant imagine what that poor man is going through, may peace come to him.

    At 9:50 chp says boat just leaving eureka. Was a good idea by commentor above re:raft guides, would they maybe have a usable boat closer?& know the river really well? Or at least one of those super bright cal-trans lights like theyre using at big 299 slide?

    This must be so frustrating and emotional for all the responders as well, sending prayers for safety for all, we are blessed to have so many good helpful folks!

    Hoping the woman and kids got out of car and are alive&well on the riverbank awaiting rescue.♡

  • A rock/mud/debris slide is now being reported at the crash site, per Caltrans Quickmap, as of 10:36pm

  • I do hope this turns out and everyone is safe. 😣 Is this the incident?

  • Praying for the family and all the rescuers. May it be a happy outcome.

    But need to ask why are there no swift rescue boats on that area?????

  • Prayers for all involved hope they are found soon alive!!!!!

  • Dear God, You make a way, when there is no way. Please direct these first responders right where they should go, to find this Mother and child. Please keep them safe and warm. Watch over all involved. Thank you, Lord, in Jesus name, Amen

  • Dear Heavenly Father, please intervene in this tragedy. I pray You will watch over those first responders out there on this snowy, muddy night, and help them to use every resource at their disposal to rescue this precious family. And please Lord, comfort and calm this mom and her child…please let them come out of this safely. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

  • I usually don’t comment on stories such as this. I was a volunteer first responder for many years, and have been to many incidents like this. But, this is a real worse case scenario. The combination of snow, ice, rain, inaccessible terrain, swift water, and frustratingly so far from help, is doubly frustrating. The agony of the victims and the pressure the responders must feel is palpable.

    It is such a helpless feeling to be sitting here reading this story and not being able to do anything to help. My heart goes out to everyone. This is one of those stories that keeps me on the edge of my seat, hoping for the best.

    I know the feelings of everyone involved, I’ve seen it. The victim must be beside himself. The first responders know that time is of the essence, yet they must proceed safely. To become and additional victim helps nobody, yet they know that every second that ticks away leaves someone suffering. I know that Kym gets involved and feels responsible to do what she can to provide information, and she knows that what she prints in these pages can sometimes be the difference between life and death. We have all witnessed that during the recent fire storms. To have a good end of the story can be the biggest reward that can be felt, yet everybody also feels the pain with a bad ending.

    I can truly say that being a volunteer was the best gig of my life. I was never a hero, but I got to walk with them. If there are any young people out there that have a notion to join a fire department, do it. Not everybody can qualify, it takes a special breed. but if you take your training seriously you will also have the opportunity to walk with heroes, save lives and property, enjoy being thanked by many, many people, and you too can one day reflect on the best gig of your life.

    Again, my heart goes out to everyone involved in this rescue, including those of us reading in agony hoping for the best. Stay safe people.

    I do have to say that I’m a little surprised to not hear that Diana Totten is on scene. She is usually everywhere….

    • Thx for your words ernie. Diana was the first person i thought of when i read this, id be surprised if someone hasnt contacted her or kai. If not whomevers out there please do!!! I think HCSO would know to contact them.

    • Ernie, are you sure you don’t want to write an opinion column for me? I’d rather read you than half the high paid folk who work for fancy news organizations.

      • I second that Kym, I love his kind and thoughtful words of wisdom and enjoy getting to know just who he is.

      • I’m with you on that about Ernie. Very interesting and well spoken.
        One question…why would CHP remove the incident from their site?

        • There are a couple of reasons they remove them that I’ve found over the years. The most likely one is that CHP is no longer the agency responsible for a call. Normally, a car accident is them. But a search in this area might be HCSO.

      • My answer would be a column in itself, but unfortunately 90% of my opinions would be unprintable. However, thanks for the complement.

      • I would like to know why happy Camp Fire turned around when they were committed to this call just because there was a fire call in HC. they have the training and the equipment to go over the bank and reach the victims yet they turned around, other HC responders answered the fire call. I don’t know if they could have made the difference or not ,but life over property is a no brainer.

    • Thank you for this. People are often frustrated by how slow response seems to happen, but you can bet everyone involved is doing everything they can under the particular circumstances. And these are very tough circumstances. And it is always so important not to create any more victims in the process.
      I second your call for folks to volunteer for their community first responder organizations. They will be glad they did, and so will the folks they help.
      Our heart aches for the folks involved in this horrific incident & we pray for the best possible outcome.

  • Oh no!! Praying…praying for their survival and that all involved stay safe and well…terrible situation. 🙁 🙁

  • Prayers to the family,hoping by some miraclethe other family members made it safety.
    There has been way to many lives cut short recently including my own fiance.
    Nobody else needs to go through this pain.

  • Wishing with all I have for the safety of all involved, victims, rescuers & volunteers. This is so very terrifying, that man must be in unimaginable pain. Please, please let his family have gotten out of that car…I can’t stop thinking about what a nightmare it is already, and I’m hoping against hope that things turns out to be okay.

    • My heart and prayers ( and tears) go out to this man in what must be the worse nightmare of his life. Still hoping and praying for a happy ending.

  • Thank you Kim for the updates. This is such a tragedy for that family and the people involved with their rescue. For those of us who have been following your posts, it is heartbreaking. Still hoping for a miracle, not willing to give up on the chance that this family will be rescued.

  • For all you people that think god exists things wouldn’t happen to good people and children and bad people get away with so much there is no magical man that fixes things right now and if there is he’s a piece of shit for letting so much go on

    • Whatever it takes for someone to get through the day, if it’s praying or smoking a joint… either way it’s none of our business to judge, I’m a spiritual human being and would never condemn anyone for their beliefs or prayers that get them through the tough times of this harsh world, thank you.

    • Veterans friend

      I didn’t want to be the one to say it, but I totally agree. If there WAS a big guy up there who sees & knows all, shouldn’t believers respect that he put these people in harm’s way?
      Shit happens folks.

      • This isn’t a case of SHIT happens, this is a family for Godssake!!! I can’t believe how insensitive people are. Grow a heart!!!

  • I just woke up. Went to sleep praying. God in heaven, be with these people, and all of us. Smile on all of us. Let the sun come back. Amen.

  • I’ve been praying hard. I hope someone stayed there with them!

  • Positive energy to all involved.

  • We are praying for these people. We know the community in Orleans and this will have touched everyone by now. I’m sure everyone is on tenter hooks waiting. It truly is a worst nightmare for a parent. I’m in tears. Hold your babies tight.

  • Update PLEASE
    Are they safe yet?
    I lived in Happy Camp.

  • Any update?

  • prayerfully waiting for an update.

  • 🙏🙏🙏💖💖💖🙏🙏🙏💜💚💖🙏🙏

  • Any updates? My heart is on edge.

  • Thanks for those words Erine. We need lots of positive energy and prayers😇🙏

  • I used to work as a volunteer with the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department and with the Hoopa Ambulance. People are commenting about slow response times or it seems like not everything is being done … It’s not that the volunteers, EMS, Coast Guard, Sheriffs Department or Ambulance are not giving it thier best effort, because they are. In the Humboldt and Siskyou county there are very limited resources and a lot of variables that you have to take into consideration …. It’s easy to sit at home and criticize what people are doing or not doing, but until you’re put in that situation where you’re the one trying figure out the logistics and safety of a very complicated and tragic search and rescue or body recovery … please don’t judge the people that out there doing the very best they can with what they have available.

    • Thank you M!! I appreciate your words and perspective.

    • Delmar Allen, Somes Bar.Ca

      Your so right,having to live and survive this kind of trauma and hope the rescue team that is responding to unknown dangers for sure,first hand knowledge river flows very fast there for another two miles then under deep pool of large rocks,used to tube and swim after my grandpa and I would gather sacred river rock,so dark 15ft under even to see,certain divers are needed but would not expect that to be until weather clears some.I praise volunteers for going out of the way to save me and my bother in the Orleans area after flying off 410ft partly into the river,I stayed with holding my brother until me and my Shawn somehow climbed out. We all know the man is going through mass trauma that never ends,so lets all be careful of our thoughts in print until you have really walked that mile of trauma of witch I hope no one will endure.All of are local people in that area has lost someone due to the conditions or the roads. Lets all prey for the safe rescue of this man and his family and praise him for his action to get rescue and survive cause no one may never have known,HERO regardless

  • Any update? I hope the family will be ok!

  • Sleepy Alligator

    This is just too much! Does anyone know what is happening with this today?

  • This one is killing me, praying for them and their family. What’s going on with it today?

  • The river is really wild right now. Because of all the snow. This is do distubring and sad. Everyone needs to pray for them.that road is dangerous especially because of the black ice and snow. If you do not need to be out stay home.

  • Anything new with this? Scared but eager to hear.

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