[UPDATE 4:33 p.m.] After Traffic Crash Into Klamath River, Mother and Two Daughters Believed to Have Died Before They Could Be Rescued

chpstarA family member has confirmed that the mother and her two daughters are believed deceased.

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

On March 5, 2017 at approximately 7:20 p.m., 30 year old Elizabeth Anne Palmer of Orleans was driving her Toyota Yaris southbound on Hwy 96, north of Orleans [near mile marker 41]. 41 year old Jose Paredes Chavez of Orleans was seated in the front passenger seat;  a 4 year old and 18 month old were seated in the rear passenger area. For reasons still under investigation, Ms. Palmer lost control of her vehicle, drifted in a westerly direction off the roadway, continuing down an embankment (approximately 500′) into the Klamath River. It was dark and there was a mixture of snow and rain falling in the area.

Mr. Chavez was able to escape, climb back up to the roadway and contact a Caltrans employee. Emergency services were requested at this time.

Emergency personnel from the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department, Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Happy Camp Ambulance, Humboldt COunty Sheriff’s OFfice, Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol (Willow Creek) and Hoopa Ambulance responded to the scene to provide emergency services.

Due to the extreme weather and roadway conditions, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Trinity County Search and Rescue, CHP helicopter, and COast Guard were unable to locate the vehicle and its remaining occupants.

The disposition of Ms. Palmer and the children cannot be confirmed at this time.

Mr Chavez was transported to Mad River Community Hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

A joint effort is currently underway in an attempt to locate the missing parties. CHP Willow Creek is handling the collision investigation. Humboldt COunty Search and Rescue is handling the recovery efforts.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: The CHP has released a further statement:

Due to the high water flows of the Klamath River and the adverse weather conditions, the CHP has not been able to safely begin any recovery operations of the vehicle or its occupants.  When the river flows and weather conditions allow for a recovery effort to locate the vehicle, the CHP will coordinate those efforts with the assistance of Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.  CHP will provide an update when a recovery effort is completed. All inquires should be directed to the CHP.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: For Liz and Her Two Girls: A Fundraiser for the Funeral Expenses of the Mother and Two Children Who Are Believed Dead After a Crash into the Klamath River

Earlier Chapters:



  • Veterans friend

    How very sad.

  • SO sorry to read this, I was hoping that they would be found alive at least if not well!!! Unfortunately the circumstances of the accident did not allow it!!! May they rest in Peace!!! Their time in this rotten world is done hoping they find something better on the other side!!!

  • So sad. Thoughts and prayers are with all involved.

  • Worst case, terrible just terrible.

  • Rest In Peace little angels. Prayers for the friends and family.

  • Something sorrowful. I have no words

  • =speechless=

  • This is horrible. I hope that this family gets the support TT hey need. Is there a GoFundMe yet?

  • I am so sorry for all involved. I hope the father finds peace.

  • There are no words….

  • shawn the fisherman

    What else could the man do? Drown with them? probably wish he had. Sad all the way around. prayers

  • If there was mud on the hwy. from slide, she could have hydro planed. Sad as hell.

    • You don’t hydroplane on mud. Hydro is the Greek word for WATER. I’m sure they have considered weather and visibility issues as this does not take a genius to figure out

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to this family

  • Grieving Sister

    I just started a Go Fund Me


    Please dont use her picture in your articles or news stories…. PLEASE DONT

  • redway resident

    i don’t understand, the report says “The disposition of Ms. Palmer and the children cannot be confirmed at this time.” Doesn’t that mean they’re not sure of their condition? Sorry to ask about this tragic news.

  • The go fund me link doesn’t work. Could you try again? I even googled and it didn’t come up. So tragic for all involved. Keeping a good thought.

  • My eyes are so full of tears I can hardly see to write this. May God be with all of you right now. Please everyone be kind to one another

  • Such dreadful news. R.I.P. dear ones.
    Prayers for all.

  • Grieving Sister

    I just don’t want anyone using that image in a negative way. I guess there is no way to stop that from happening. We are still in shock over the loss…. I cant believe they are gone…
    If you share the go fund me on facebook and your story then I wouldnt mind if you used the picture. Please everyone share this we still need to find their bodies…


  • Something doesn’t smell right to me about this whole thing…can’t put my finger on it, not coming to any pre conceived conclusions, but something seems off..?

    • sharpen your pencil

      Yes, you, and people like you. Do you own a car? Have you ever driven through a storm to get to where you had to be? Obviously not! Something doesn’t seem right because you have your foil hat on sideways, or perhaps you are too into conspiracy theories to be able to think straight….

      • Feel better about yourself now..?
        I’ve hauled logs in places and all kinds of conditions, that I’m still pulling seat cushion from my back side…buckwheat.

        Your like the guy that criticized the driver of the truck (and all truck drivers-they ALL need to slow down) that ‘t-boned’ the cop in Klamath, but when it all shook out, the cop unsafely pulled out in front of him.
        Just because I feel I have a premonition about this situation…YOU feel the need to come to YOUR own preconcieved judgment towards me…that’s laughable…I don’t think your intelligent enough to sharpen your own pencil!
        Peace and healing to everyone associated with this incident…the cop that was injured in Klamath also…Godspeed.

        • Reality and truth

          Armageddon? What other predictions do you have, oh psychic one? It was a tragic accident. Don’t make it any more than that. People need to heal and move on. Not live in your little fantasy conspiracy world

    • This Is Kinda Fun

      [edit] That’s what doesn’t smell right. This family just lost 3 members in the river, and you’re making it sound like it was on purpose?

      • See, you too are jumping to conclusions, I NEVER implied it was on purpose, and I still don’t.
        And it’s not my purpose to be insensitive towards the families and friends loss. My heart goes out to them all.
        You mean to tell me you never had a situation where something didn’t settle well with you, but you couldn’t quite get it figured.
        Your attacking me out of ignorance.

        • Reality and truth

          Actually, anyone reading your post would assume the same thing. You did imply that it was on purpose. Either that or you think big foot pushed the car? Aliens lifted it? fruit cake

          • Look, I obviously offended some folks here, for that I am sorry.
            It was never my intention. Next time I’ll use more discretion.

  • Chris from mckinleyville

    So sad…I think I would rather die with my kids than live with the memory of the car wreck..so awful…prayers..

  • Prayers for the family.

  • My deepest condolences

  • My heart felt sympathies to the family.

  • First time I have donated and all because of Kym’s news site. She is so instrumental in keeping us informed. What a horrific loss and can’t even imagine the pain this family is experiencing.

  • Grieving Sister

    I just wish they would get Liz and her babies out of the river
    … Thats the hardest part for our family…

    • It’s truly unacceptable that more isn’t being done to get them out. As a community, we’re going to try to come up with a plan to get them out of the river. As a community, we are mourning your loss with you. This is the nightmare we’ve all tried not to think about as we drive these unforgiving river roads, especially this time of year. Our thoughts and lots of prayers are with all the family.

      • Reality and truth

        Really? So more people should have lost their lives attempting an impossible rescue in horrific conditions. What a idiotic thing to say!

      • Well said panamnikchik. Realityandtruth, you’re aggression is ill placed. These are people that dealing all day everyday with this. My guess is you are only dealing with this through the comfort of a screen. Back off! Locals are much more knowledgeable about the roads & terrain. Protocol prevents them from being listened to

  • Good night, sweet princesses, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

  • Please folks be kind in your words.now isn’t the time for harshness. Love and blessings.

  • Thank you all for your well wishes and support. From a grieving and heartbroken mother and grandmother, some day their will not be any time to say the simple words I am sorry.

  • Grandma and the rest of the family,
    May you be surrounded by loving, kind and generous folks who will step in the gap and be there for you to rage, cry, speak and grieve.
    Those folks to me, are angels in the flesh. They will give you an ear to hear, a shoulder to cry or beat on, an embracing hug as you make it through the journey of loss.
    May your beloved daughter, sister, niece, auntie, and wife rest in peace.
    Know that so very many folks far and wide are holding you up in positive thoughts, and yes prayers.

  • If her employer is the family I think it is, they’ll help. They’re good people.

  • My heart goes out to the family. I send all my love and prayers. I lost my son Paul in the Trinity River eleven months ago. You need to lean on each other and remember to love one another ♡

  • There is no cost for rescue efforts. Are both GoFundMe going to same account for funerals?

    Climbing up 40 stories up embankment in snow/rain. That’s incredible. I hope they are found safe, but if not, that family finds peace. Be careful on roads people.

  • mendocino mamma

    Tears flow greater than the mighty river that took them. No one could ever imagine such events would occur in your life. <3 to the family, so sorry…words could never convey, nor express the magnitude of this terrible event. Peace be with you. Namaste.

  • Support our Community in times of need and despair: A Go Fund Me Account has been set up!

  • I don’t have any connection to this family but my heart just breaks for them. This is such a sad, sad thing to have to come to terms with. My deepest and heartfelt sympathies to this husband and father, family and friends.
    May you gather together as a family to guide and support each other through this most difficult time. I hope in time you can find a place of peace and comfort in your reflections and memories of your loved ones. May the angels surround you, protect you and deliever you past your grief.

  • jackie richardson

    elizabeth was my brothers daughter { my niece } and my little grand nieces, theyre in heaven now with her mother and father. may god wrap his arms around those babies and make heavenly angels out of them. i hope her husband finds peace in his life without them

  • jackie richardson

    elizabeth was my niece daughter of my brother, shes now in heaven with my brother and her mother. i hope her husband finds peace in his life. God will wraphis arms around those 2 baIES.

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