[UPDATE 3:37 p.m.] Multiple Vehicle Accident North of Eureka on 101; All Lanes Blocked

At approximately 3:06 p.m., emergency dispatch received a report of a multiple vehicle accident on northbound 101 near Harper Motors. One vehicle t-boned another and both rolled over, according to the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page.

Two patients are still in one vehicle and reporting back and neck injuries.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Reader Tera Mar sent in this photo. She says that northbound is completely stopped but southbound is creeping along.

Traffic accident by Harpers

UPDATE 3:37 p.m.: Another view from a reader:

vehicle accident



  • Well if people would just slow the hell down there would be a lot less accidents on the damn 101! Thoughts and prayers with all involved.

  • When are they going to do something about 101 Corridor? This hazard has been ongoing for Years!! Hasn’t there been enough fatalities to warrant an overpass yet Cal Trans? (exact words at a meeting about 20 years ago from official from Cal Trans) “There hasn’t been enough fatalities to warrant an overpass at Indianola, and Bayside Cutoff” Harper is just another one of the areas of concern. How many have to be hurt? How many have to die? Yes, slowing down the speed to 50 and calling it the safety corridor has helped, but there are still problems to be dealt with.

    • https://eurekaarcatacorridor.wordpress.com
      Sounds like they are about ready to start the safety corridor project. I’m sure EPIC will sue them and have a bunch of fuel guzzling, grow-dozer driving pot growers chain themselves to cranes so it’ll probably take forever to happen.

      • Yeah cuz people making sure we have clean water is so lame. NOT.
        The draining of a wetland known to have huge amounts of life and was sequestering carbon is a bigger loss than most realize, on every level, wetlands are extremely needed ecosystems.

        Get a clue, or dont, but dont complain when your kids get cancer, the areas like rio dell have springs full of cancer causing agents like the diesel fuel they put in the herbicide spray to help it stick. I hope they make seperate health insurance for people who are like you, it sux to have to pay for your ignorance.

        The 101 will be underwater there within 5-10 years anyway so theyll have to raise the freeway up. The waters rising and the land there is sinking.
        If people would just drive slower and not tailgate, it wouldnt be a problem right now.
        HSU students rolling in = huge uptick in accidents on corridor over next few weeks. HSU really drops the ball on informing city kids on driving tips for here. Students should get double fines.

        • Uhhhhh – So you do know that for every lead and oil covered wetland adjacent to highways that Caltrans builds a road on they have to be replaced with mitigation wetlands at 3 acres to 1 right? For my kids sake; I’d rather let them raise the road above the one they already destroyed and restore 3x as many wetlands ruined by old roads, timber, cows, or weed…
          People driving better would be great, but people suck.

        • Parts will be underwater, but meanwhile we will just keep denying, arguing over who’s fault it is, and its all Al Gores fault (Kill the messenger, right?) anyway. Major ports will suddenly be unusable. Its like watching a train coming right down the tracks at us, and instead of moving we decide we should build walls to keep Mexicans out.

    • Can’t really lay the blame all on CALTRANS. They could solve all the problems with one easy fix….pave everything extra wide. Of course there are those who would still crash. The problem lies in getting anyone to agree on one solution. For every fix CALTRANS comes up with there are the other state agencies, the city, the county, the coastal commission, the so many self proclaimed experts on safety, and then the enviromental groups. An easy inexpensive fix then becomes an expensive “not in my life time” project. The safety corridor worked for a short time (as long as the cops were visable) and then the speed went back up. It did reduce the number of crashes, but the motoring public is rude and inpatient.

      • When I lived in Michigan I learned about how “you have to turn right to go left”. I know it sounds funny, but if you have to turn left across lanes of traffic the safest way is to turn right, travel about a quarter mile to the turn lane provided and make a U turn thus going left. Nobody gets t-boned trying to make the left, and nobody has to spend $15million on an overpass

  • Rarely do I witness drivers going 50 on the ‘safety’ corridor. Drivers blow past me every time! Overpasses and onramps are needed NOW! Enough with the idiotic roundabouts. The money needs to be spent on THIS problem!

    • so you think Arcata should pay for a State highway overpass?

      • Who said Arcata should pay for anything?

      • Its a state highway, they couldnt even if they wanted to.
        Freeway overpasses in that area are dangerous as theres little room to stabilize enough for earthquakes and the highway will be underwater soon so it would be a waste of time and money at this point.
        Theyll end up closing the cutoffs first, which really sucks for those of us using them everyday&the businesses dependent on them.

        The chp could be making bank, the amount that could be made off of speeders tailgating while on their phone with headlights off could generate millions a month.

  • Kim, do you have statistics on the recent spate of accidents on hwy 101, particularly compared to other years.

    • Here we go, talking about people like statistics…you work for Cal Trans? Show me the Money!! It is in somebody’s pocket!! Certainly not on our roads and safety!!

      • its not the roads its the people behind the wheel that are the problem. everyone has something to blame except themselves.

        • Indeed. Amazing- simply astounding how many people always want to blame the roads, bicycles, CalTrans, birds in the sky…everything but the Actual Problem: Selfish Speeding Drivers. Its really that simple folks. Nothing wrong with the roads for petes sake. Its the DRIVERS.

          • its not the selfish speeding driver either. its the ones that cannot pay attention and/or issues with their brain that does not allow them to make proper decisions. I drive this route twice a day.

            • Didn’t say I was “Blaming” Cal Trans and yes, People are driving like maniacs out there and talking on their phones and not paying attention. I have lived out there for years and had teenage drivers in the family. And I prayed every time they left and had to drive out from Indianola. I also had a co-worker killed out on Bayside Cutoff. So not blaming the roads or Cal Trans but when a representative stood there and made the comment about not enough fatalities, well let them pull out onto the highway each and every day from Indianola. Old Arcata Road is getting almost as bad the crazy people driving on it like it is a raceway. Thought when they upgraded the road back there it was nice but it only made it easier for people to speed. So Back to 101 “Safety” Corridor…. Put signals, do an overpass to Hell with the wetland out there. Figure it out!!! Heck we were hoping Walmart was going out there only to upgrade the road…but that never happened…. Enough of the B.S. Lives Matter!! Yours and Mine!!

    • I don’t have much. But the North Coast Journal posted July 21, “Humboldt County has one of the highest rates of vehicle fatalities in the nation, with fatal accident rates double the national average and nearly triple those of California. The number of fatalities in 2017 is on pace to rival numbers from the previous decades, the highest of which were 2009 and 2012, which saw 31 total road deaths, a combined number of vehicle and pedestrian fatalities. So far in 2017, 15 people have been killed as the result of collisions and seven pedestrians have died after being struck by vehicles, putting the county on pace to record 40 roadway fatalities by year’s end.” https://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/07/21/two-killed-in-fatal-wreck-near-miranda

      • This is why our car insurance rates are so high as well. Rural distances, sketchy roads, lots of distracted and/or under the influence drivers, and the general outlaw pathos that deems traffic rules as suggestions all contribute to the calamity that is the Humboldt roadway.

      • This is sad.we need better education on driving.

  • My understanding is the clover leaf is already designed and on the schedule for construction, funds allocated and everything at Indianola. After completion… there will be no cross traffic at Bayside, Harper Ford, or Jacobs Ave, you’ll have to take the long way around to get to your destination

    • Dawg, could you tell us where you read that? I know its been tossed around but with the recent studies on how much that land is sinking, is it still valid?
      They are gonna prioritize the bypass on 101 north way before this anyways, they kinda have to at this point.

      Its super annoying that we have to pay for any new road work just because a bunch of jerks cant slow down. Charge them triple and use that money for improvements. Cmon chp get out there!!!
      Arcatas even worse, i know lots of people who dont go there anymore because of drivers.

    • Actually,there is scheduled, I believe by 2021 or so to be a light on northbound 101 at Airport Road for access to 101 while folks leaving Midcity will head north to the new Indianola interchange, cross under 101, and then head back south.

  • Inexpensive solution. No left turns on the safety corridor. Close the median.

  • It’s not so much the speed of the traffic on the safety corridor. What causes most of the crashes are people pulling out in front of oncoming traffic. Now that the Brainard yard is shut down, maybe we should just close the median.

    • Exactly, Paul. I drive that corridor often. Although i’m sure the slower speeds have helped, basically, even if you’re going 50, when someone pulls right out in front of you–as they perversely often do–or in front of two vehicles abreast, there’s going to be a collision.
      I can’t get my mind around why people do that. Why don’t they wait until the oncoming traffic looks to be, oh, at least a quarter-mile away… or, as suggested above, just turn right and double back after merging over to the left.
      Sometimes i see people backing up or rolling back before entering the freeway… i’m afraid they’re giving themselves room to take a real good decisive flying leap at suicide by collision, with my car and life as collateral damage… it’s nerve-wracking!

  • Arm chair road engineer

    I seriously think the HUGE UPTICK in collisions is caused by the 20-30 minute delays at the confusion hill mess … You routinely see huge clusters (traffic jams if u will) of vehicles on the 101 north of the delay… They let them all through and it takes over 100 miles to spread that many cars out again!!! and imo these technically challenging freeways in humboldt are not meant to be driven “Full
    Capacity” at 65mph.!!!

  • Sigh. Once again, an accident where speed was not likely to be a factor, and everyone starts blaming it on speed. Just like the last accident. It’s people like the posters above that help keep the problem from being properly addressed.

    The problem has nothing to do with speed on 101. At all. There are countless similar intersections throughout the country with no issues. The problem is defective drivers pulling out in front of oncoming traffic. Generally they’re drunk/high, on the phone, or senile. And here we have a lot more than the national average of all three of these.

    When caltrans lowered the speed limit, accidents went up, which is what everyone expected would happen. But, they still did it anyway, for two reasons. The first is that people were demanding they “do something”, so they had to do something, even if it didn’t help. The second is that lower speed reduces the severity of injuries, because there’s less energy involved, even though there’s more injuries overall. This shows up as a reduction in the number of fatalities, even though there’s substantially more total collisions. Lowering the speed limit below the design speed of a road always results in more collisions, which is why it’s so rarely done. A large part of the extra danger is people who choose to turn themselves into rolling obstacles, risking their lives and those of everyone around them.

    The best fix would be to actually address the problem of impaired, distracted, and over-aged drivers. Impaired driving should have a lot harsher penalties (I vote we bring back the stocks. Put them in the lot next to the old co-op building. Have the farmer’s market vendors donate rotten produce.), and society needs to start treating alcohol, marijuana, and cell phone use as wrong, rather than cool. Not likely to happen, given as we just had a parade about how cool marijuana is. Hands-free cell phone use is no better than hand-held cellphone use, and should also be not allowed, with a penalty for any call longer than “sorry, can’t talk, driving”. And as the population ages, we need to address the problem of drivers driving past the age where they safely can.

    An interim fix would be to build overpasses, which while it might help, is kinda like putting a band-aid over a puncture wound – it might make it look nice for a bit, but the actual problem is only going to get worse. We’d probably have at least one overpass already if it weren’t for the idiocy that is the coastal commission, and the other ridiculous bureaucracy that prevents things from actually getting done. Greatly limiting the power of the coastal commission would be a huge step forwards.

    And then there’s the people who blame everything on speed. You are not helping. You are making things worse. By illogically blaming it on speed (because obviously the speed of the through traffic is what made someone pull out into the intersection without looking! And it’s those damn speeders that make people decide to drive drunk! And the speeders cause people to yap on their cell phones too! I bet they also cause sunspots and earthquakes!), you are distracting from addressing the actual issues. And chances are you’re the people who are contributing to the increase in overall accidents by refusing to drive the speed of the traffic around you, creating dangerous backups. Do the world a favor and stop putting others’ lives at risk due to your poor driving. Just like the drunks and the yappers, you are making decisions that are harming yourself and others, and need to stop.

    • Interesting. You are defending speeding, claiming its not the problem. Wow. Just wow. E.M.T. of 17 years says “Sorry, THAT guy is usually the problem”. Question, how far behind the car in front you are you at 50MPH?
      I would hate to hear what else you ‘defend’.

      • I usually hang pretty far back, until it reaches the point where someone should have moved right or used a turnout a long time ago, and needs to be reminded that other road users aren’t just biding their time until they die. While I’m not a slow driver, I’m also definitely not one of the fastest, and I usually pull over about a half dozen times a day to let someone pass, since I have a rule of never being the asshole that’s blocking traffic.

  • Thinking allowed

    One thing that speeding does do is make it next to impossible to get across the freeway. If cars all travelled at the same speed as limited, there are breaks in traffic occuring that have been created the traffic lights all the way back in Eureka. Those breaks can be used for getting across. When people speed while others stick to the limit, traffic spreads out. And single faster cars can be misjudged as they appear suddenly from the herd when the focus has been on the larger mass of cars coming on.
    It’s fine to talk about what people should do but real life deals with what people really do. So either agree to spend more money enforcing speed limits and shut up with all the cop hate or physically prevent the consequences while not enforcing speed limits and change the road or put up with the accidents. Because those are the real choices.

    • I cross several times a day. Haven’t noticed a problem with traffic patterns at all. The idea that the stop lights will create breaks in traffic miles down the highway is utterly unrealistic. The biggest difficulty I have crossing is people who refuse to go and just sit there waiting for a half mile long opening, backing traffic up behind them. Some percentage of people seem to think they need an opening several times longer than the ones those of us with heavy vehicles wait for, for their priuses…

      And, again, you talk about enforcing speed limits, when these accidents are not caused by the speed of through traffic. The through traffic is not responsible for the actions of the crossing traffic. Additional speed limit enforcement, in addition to making even more people realize how much the cops around here harm society rather than help it, will just cause _more_ accidents. Really. I’m not making this up. Artificially reducing speeds leads to cars bunching up, increased lane changes, and other things more dangerous than normal free-flowing traffic.

      You don’t consider harsher penalties for DUI, further restrictions on cell phones, and re-testing of older drivers to be real choices? Because I do. I also think the public humiliation of a week in the stocks would do a lot more good than six months’ probation… (Of course, I think just about anything would do more good than probation, as it’s quite obvious that probation isn’t serving as a deterrent whatsoever.)

  • Annette Williams

    It all comes down to each driver! We (they) all think we’re (they’re) invisible, done my share of stupidity, most of us have. Safety corridor, before it was that, not but a couple of minor fender benders in my lifetime that I’ve seen. Ppl are to much in a hurry these days. My dad always told me, leave 30 minutes to an hour earlier than need be, just in case of accident or road construction. No one else to blame but ourselves, yes, roads have potholes, washboards, it happens, slow down! Let’s get back to the simple life. I really miss those days. No blame on county road, Cal trans, it’s us! The drivers of the machines that can and do damage to ourselves and/or others cause of our stupidity. Yes, roads need work, we all know that, so why do we continue to leave late, talk on phone, and put the blame where it’s sometimes not needed. Accidents happen, no one’s fault, someone’s fault, both at fault? Shit happens! Everyone today is in such a hurry! Why? Slow down, take the time to enjoy the drive, talk with the person/family in vehicle.

    • Hrmm, that’s odd. I replied to you, but the comment never showed up.

      Oh well, I’m not re-typing it. Short version: If you’re wasting 30-60 minutes every time you leave for somewhere, you’re wasting your life. Consider being more productive. Also, I’ve seen people having conversations with passengers that put them at cell-phone level impairment. Your attention should be on the road at all times.

  • How awful! I hope all the injured will recover fully.
    Why there isn’t an overpass there yet is beyond me. At the least, maybe they could block the entrance lane and just keep the exit lane open. Something needs to happen, besides accidents caused by bad planning.

    • There isn’t an overpass because of the coastal commission and various other agencies who act to impede progress rather than further it.

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