Medical Condition May Have Led to Driver Colliding With Pedestrian in Fatal Accident Today

CHP Feature FatalityThis 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 March 9, 2017, at approximately 11:14 am, 56 year old Shirley Hoyt of Eureka, CA, was walking north on S Street crossing 4th Street in the painted crosswalk. Traffic on westbound 4th Street, which is a one-way street, had stopped for Ms. Hoyt.

56 year old Larry Nielsen was driving his 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup westbound on 4th Street at a speed witnesses described as 50 mph or more. Mr. Nielsen passed the stopped traffic on the right and hit Ms. Hoyt in the crosswalk. Ms. Hoyt suffered major injuries and later died at St Joseph Hospital in Eureka; Mr. Nielsen continued through the intersection and fled the scene.

A witness from out of the area watched the entire incident and gave chase. The witness followed Mr. Nielsen to the intersection of N Street at 3rd Street in Eureka. With his own vehicle, the witness blocked the Toyota’s movement with his vehicle then confronted Mr. Nielsen. The witness detained Mr. Nielsen until officers from the Eureka Police Department arrived.

The Humboldt Area office of the California Highway Patrol has an agreement with the Eureka Police Department to investigate fatal traffic collisions on select streets in the City of Eureka. CHP officers arrived and are actively investigating this incident. Mr. Nielsen was taken to a local hospital for examination then booked into the Humboldt County Jail on charges including felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

DUI was not a factor in this collision. However, Mr. Nielsen may have been experiencing an acute medical condition, and that may have been a factor in the collision. This incident remains under investigation and as further information becomes available, an updated press release may be distributed.



  • …don’t think I’d want to be Mr. Nielsen’ Dr. right about now…basing that on the scuttle-butt I’ve been reading elsewhere.

  • Kudos to the witness that followed, blocked, and detained the hit & run driver! Way to go!

  • Amazing actions on the part of the hero/witness! He not only detained the driver, he may have avoided Nielsen causing another collision. I wonder what medical conditon causes one to drive fast, then evade chase.

  • You want to kill somebody in Humboldt County and get away with that hit-and-run is the way to go just ask Marcy kitchen and you can be drunk also like the dude from HSU. Sure mercy was drunk also but apparently nobody cares so if there somebody you don’t like run them the ffffff. Over.

  • Did his medical condition also cause him to leave the scene of the accident?

  • Thank you witness who followed and stopped the Mr Nielsen’s car! You are a hero. So sad to read of yet another life taken on our local roads.

  • Good story, great reporting.

  • Veterans friend

    RIP Ms Hoyt
    Sympathy to her family

    • Vanessa Rentko

      That was my aunt I miss her so much that fool took her away from me I was post to see her for my 16th birthday but now I can’t

  • Tall trees I know someone who was having a stroke and didn’t know it up til after she sped and hit three cars… it can happen if it’s neurological

  • I don’t consider myself a hero, just doing the right thing. God bless ms Hoyt and her family. [edit] Mr Nielsen you should not have fled let alone be driving!!! Seizures or not he was coherent enough to flee the scene to go stash his truck, not on my watch buddy!!

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