[Update] Multiple Agencies Searching for Vehicle Swallowed by Eel River

Search and rescue looking for a missing vehicle

Searchers enter the water looking for the missing vehicle. [Photo provided by Renee Selix]

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

On April 6, 2018, at approximately 1310 hours, Humboldt Communications Center (HCC) received a report of a vehicle over the side of a steep embankment on US-101, south of Dora Creek in Northern Mendocino County. Upon the arrival of emergency personnel, the involved vehicle was completely submerged in the Eel River. The California Highway Patrol, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Piercy Volunteer Fire, and Leggett Volunteer Fire Department all responded to the scene to assist, however due to the strong river current, and the poor clarity, the vehicle was unable to be located. CHP and emergency personnel have continuously searched and monitored the river in attempts to locate the vehicle. CHP has also utilized its helicopter in attempts to locate the vehicle.

*Update*  On April 10, 2018, the Garberville CHP established an joint incident command with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Cal-Fire, Leggett Volunteer Fire, Piercy Volunteer Fire and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue to organize continuous search efforts for the missing vehicle and occupants.  All available resources are being utilized by searching personnel. Through the collaborated efforts of all the involved agencies we are working to resolve this incident as quickly and safely as possible.  Rescue personnel will be searching the immediate and surrounding areas and constantly evaluating the condition of the river and the weather during the search efforts.

This incident remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP Office.

UPDATE: Witness Tells of Vehicle Tipping Onto Two Wheels and Tumbling Over the Bank Into the Eel River Near Confusion Hill North of Leggett; Searchers Scour the River Tuesday

Earlier Chapters for Vehicle Swallowed by the Eel River: 



  • The eel is seriously flowing right now!
    So sad, maybe guard rails are needed in the river side pull outs there.
    Many thanks to all the searchers, especially the volunteers who we are so lucky to have.
    Safe wishes to all and hoping the car is located soon!

    • So. Do we know of a car actually went over or not. A bit confused. Are we all taking one eyewitness’s word?

      • CoveTroll (living up to your name..) hopefully you’ve seen the rest of the plentiful reporting on this story by now? There was debris from the vehicle, and oil seen spreading on the surface of the river. Do you really think there would be all this intense effort if there wasn’t certainty of the incident?

  • I’m not sure why they would send in divers in such low viz. Seems like combing with boats and steel poles might be better. It might have stopped rolling just after the next rock outcropping, set of rapids or eddy downstream.

  • I was Driving North At the Time at the Precise Area The People Pulled Over and Running To the Area Looked Terrified it had Just Happened I could Tell by the People Running And Hollering That a Car Just Went Over The Side It Was Pouring It Freaked me Out the Shear Terror on a Couple of People and Then just Passed Many First Responders Coming In😞

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