Driver Ejected in Alleged DUI That Sent Two to the Hospital

This 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 June 23, 2018, at approximately 0135 hours, a 2017 Hyundai Elantra, driven by 34 year old Karen Lynn Ritter of Rio Dell, CA, was traveling south on SR-254 north of Maple Hills Road. For reasons still under investigation, the Hyundai crossed into the northbound lane, left the roadway and collided with a dirt embankment. After colliding with the embankment, the Hyundai overturned several times and caused the driver to become ejected. The Hyundai came to rest within the northbound lane of SR-254.

The driver of the Hyundai sustained major injuries as a result of the collision and was not using a seatbelt at the time of the collision. The passenger of the Hyundai sustained moderate injuries as a result of the collision.

The California Highway Patrol, Miranda Volunteer Fire Department, Weott Cal-Fire, Redway Volunteer Fire Department and City Ambulance responded to the collision scene. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Area.

Drug and alcohol impairment does appear to be a factor in this collision.

  • Laytonville Rock
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66 comments

  • Stupidity rears it Fugly head once again!!! No seat belts & DUI are a great combo… if you want a lengthy stay in the hospital, not to mention a great deal of pain upon waking up from being unconscious!!! Sorry for the passenger but they should have at least, known the “Job was dangerous”!!! Riding with someone under the influence of ANY substance is NEVER a good idea!!!

  • My heart goes out to this family. Sending blessings…

  • Muddy Black Dodge

    Really? It is still mind blowing to me that people don’t wear set belts just out of habit. Especially after drinking then driving on the 254 at 1:30a.m. p.s.
    I clearly remember my step dad drinking beers as we drove, then he would toss the can out the window into the bed of the truck, as I stood on the seat with both hands on the dash as we drove thought the Whitethorn valleys. Glad we didn’t die, or kill someone else…

  • Come on Karen! You know better! This family has endured so much lately. I’m very sad that you continue to make ignorant choices. Love to the family. Karen…get help please, and get better soon. Your girls need you.

  • SickOfYourNegativity

    Kind of surprised to see such a lack of compassion in the comments

    • Positively sick of drunk drivers. She can find compassion at an AA meeting.

    • If they had collided with another vehicle and injured or killed another human, you’d see even less compassion. If they had hit someone close to you, even you would be less inclined to sympathy. They were very lucky, is all.

    • Sharpen your pencil

      Not too much compassion for a person that has ZERO compassion for everyone else! This shit is getting out of hand, DUI is a choice, it wasn’t handed to her, she took it! Are you saying people should show compassion to people facing premeditated murder? Because if you are being honest with yourself that is exactly what this could have been. Anytime you drink and drive you might as well be playing Russian rullet, eventually things are going to go BOOM!

  • Since impairment is not yet determined, I choose to hope she was avoiding a deer. This is a cause of many many wrecks on both the Avenue and 101, especially at night.

  • Are some of the people commenting on here blind?? Alcohol does not seem to be a factor!!!! My cousin can’t freaking drink anymore due to her last accident. Pay attention people and watch what you say

    • [edit] .. She drinks all the time and self medicates. . you obviously are Not her family.. Not sure why you say shes your cousin… YOUR NOT FAMILY

    • Random thoughts

      I’m sorry bud.. but Karen has been drinking … alot.!!! I’ve personally seen her hammered.

    • The volosity blinds me.

    • Sharpen your pencil

      Drug and alcohol impairment does appear to be a factor in this collision.

      Copied and pasted just for you…. PAY ATTENTION? Your two cents is broken, chewed on, and pulled from a dingoes crap!

  • Drinking and driving us not ok… I can say this from experience… Its a horrible sadness for this family they have lost another family member beginning of this month and yes Drinking and driving is bad the family knows this.. They (WE) Dont need to be reminded of it…they just need prayers that karen will live and choose to better herself instead of self medicating with alcohol and whatever else…
    Please people choose your wirds wisely.. This family has been throught it

  • This will be unpopular however a vehicle collision where DUI is proven to be a factor is an assault with a deadly weapon and should be prosecuted as such. Regards.

    • I agree – AND – experience has shown that, in California, at least, if the victim is riding a bicycle the accident might as well not have happened.

  • this totally not great news to me i like you all to know i havent had license scince shona wreaked my car off the buffs i am sorry to say karen you should know better than this i could do the what ifs on you but you are in hosptail it might sound kind mean i hATE DRUNK DRIVERS WITH PASSION

    • Wow!sounds like you haven’t changed at all. That whole message sounds like tweaker stuff,learn how to spell. I hate tweakers

  • I’m guessing this is the same Karen posting on FB moms group last night about having a court order to see her kids and requesting help for the public to track down their dad. Super sad sounding all the way around. I hope for her kids sake she can get her life together.

    • Larry or Curley

      Mo, Just so you can have someone tell you, that group is supposed to be a safe place for mothers to discuss things in a safe and respectful manner related to children and motherhood. What you have done by posting on this blog about it is not safe or respectful.

  • Damn trimmers can’t hold their alcohol. That’s on them.

  • It sounds like Karen was upset yesterday about a situation involving visitation with her kids, she has always had issues but also very sweet person. I hope she recovers and can learn from this. Prayers to to her and the family .

    • Sorry, but sweet people don’t endanger the lives of others while indulging themselves. She’s not a sweet person, she’s an inconsiderate ass.

    • Your comment stands in stark contrast to the haters. Everyone has a bad day sooner or later, but when alcohol enters the equation only bad things result. Biooze is the devil’s piss!

  • They’re out there, be ever alert for these idiots.

  • If it wasn’t alcohol it was drugs either way…why you out @ 130am if your not spun or drunk…

  • Karen and family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Who are we to judge? Karen has been going threw a lot lately. I’m praying for her and her passenger and their families. You can’t walk in on this chapter of her life and judge her.
    Please, get well…

    • Anti troll league

      So you feel it was perfectly fine to be driving while intoxicated?

    • Sure we can judge her choice to drive while impaired, not wear her seat belt, wreck her car, injure her passenger, and put innoncent lives in danger. We most certainly can judge the facts in this article. The majority of us probably don’t know her nor would I like to, however we are allowed to be disgusted and angry at her choices…. which we are.

  • Karen Ritter is a Mother, a Daughter, a Sister, an Aunt, and a Friend. I wont ask you, society at large, to forgive her error in judgment. I will however ask that you please give a moment of consideration to those Family and Friends stressfully waiting with held breath for some update on her condition.

    Thank you, even if it’s only for the time you took to read this plea.

    • Well said brian💜💜 praying

    • No. If her family has not already said most of this or worse to her already, then someone else needs to. This is the only opportunity she may have left.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read my comment even if you didn’t get the point.

        • Sharpen your pencil

          The point? The point is she could have killed an innocent person! AN INNOCENT PERSON! Tired of junkies and drunks being treated as children, children can’t buy alcohol or get a license, only and adult, SO ACT LIKE ONE! Beyond tired of drunks killing or nearly killing people and getting a slap on the wrist, this needs to change!

        • I got your point. I just think you are wrong. I’d rather one person reconsider their drinking habits because the public rejection of rationalizations than a thousand are made to feel better about the ugly results by soothing words.

        • I should have phrased it better. It’s not that I think you’re wrong to consider the feeling of those stressed by her accident. It’s that I think that it is not as important to do that as it is to make it clear that she violated the trust of the public, endangered everyone else and that she or the people around her can not expect for that to be ignored.

    • Slow down when driving.

    • Thanks for speaking up, Brian.
      When callous comments are made about people on this site, I just wonder when the writer’s own humanity decided to disappear. Usually when someone shows up on Kym’s blog, something devastating just happened to them, and their whole family. Not only are cruel comments tossed into the blog; but often with little, or no facts are available about the incident.

      When writing, I hope people realize that they have a moment to reflect, before posting. Their comments may add unnecessary pain, to an already traumatized family’s heart.

      • Sharpen your pencil

        I think people like you are what gives these sorts of people the ability to maintain their miserable existence. Until they hit bottom they won’t get better, pretending things are ok doesn’t make them so, as a community we have lost WAY too many loved ones due to horrible CHOICES like this, I think we all have a right to be fed up with this crap in its entirety.

        • Mr. SYP,
          I am asking for compassion in words when posting. I am asking for consideration for family impacted by tragedy.

          I worked in Intensive Care at Santa Monica Hospital, before moving to Humboldt. Most of our patients were unconscious. Their families however, were wide awake, and sorting through sudden, massive changes in their lives. Gratefully, this was all before ‘social media’. Random public comments from people who thought it would be fine, to add to the burdens of, as I said, a ‘traumatized heart’, were not an issue.

          It is possible to be angry, and also speak with compassion.

          • How can that be done without saying that she behaved so badly that nothing good can be said about it? Constantly saying nothing leaves only the feel good words as a take away?

      • On this site there have been many comments about “how you don’t know” about the problems the DUI driver has faced and therefore have no right to comment.

        What this kind of thinking shows is that there is a lack of understanding that, while there may be sympathy for a person’s problems, none of those problems are even close to an adequate excuse for what they did. And pretending otherwise for the sake of those who have been hurt is condoning the behavior no matter the number of time it is said that it is not.

    • Brian Reamey, her loved ones might want to not read internet comments about her if they don’t want the truth.

  • Poor girl was living in a pain body, the result of several serious accidents and poor life choices. The father of her girls worked for me many years ago and has been tortured by custody issues since those twins were born. I wish them all well, but more importantly, I wish them all peace!

  • Praying for Karen ❤️

  • Boozin and loosin. Again alcohol a factor in lives ruined. The true gateway drug. Nothing good ever comes from being boozey. Drinkin and stinkin, no thanks!

  • mothers and I imagine fathers too ,tend to go a bit crazy and do stupid shit when they are kept from their children.karen had a court order to see her babies, the father would not let her see them.not making excuses for getting behind the wheel when not sober but you try not going crazy when you are not able to see you children when the judge gives you the order to see them, if karen survives this I hope you know the pain she suffers ,she loves her children-and is an awesome person and would give anyone the shirt off her back.

  • My husband got a DUI, thankfully it happened after he was an EX! I saw that one coming. The truth is anyone who drinks everyday for days and weeks and years on end will inevitably suffer consequences from it. Crappy health, shitty personality changes, and legal troubles like a DUI those are the rewards that come from that sort of behavior. Hoo-boy! Glad I dodged that drama. There will always be a complicit (compassionate to a fault)) fan base who will step in to nurse the wounds, drive em around and help pay the price. Not me. Make bad choices if u like, there are these children to consider and I deserve a healthy life. No one enjoys hanging around a intoxicated shadow of a person they once knew and loved. Including your children. There is a REASON the father is primary caregiver. Not sure of the circumstances or truth behind the claim that he refused to allow visit , but getting arrested and hospitalized after crashing your rig at 130am (intoxicated?) is maybe not the good choice when dealing with that . Children need to be safe, they need stability and a healthy, unfucked up adult to care for them and raise them to be independent. A selfish, thoughtless drunk is not the good parent. I am absolutely sickened, upset, angry and bored with our booze-centric drugged up dead-beat culture . Get a grip people! And why are the punishments so weak? With minimal restrictions drunk drivers are allowed to get right back behind the wheel in short order. It’s pathetic and absolutely rude to those that DONT get behind the wheel buzzed. All this unecessary risk just for a steady booze industry stream of income. (And it’s not just Coors and Jack Daniels that pushes this “norm,” every damn event, fundraiser, and social gathering revolves around this dangerous and toxic “beverage.” ) Really, what good has come from everybody drinking so much on such a regular basis? Name one thing. I can name 100 problems, costs ,and tragedies caused by it. Our society is doomed if we continue in this manner.

  • the father in this case is NOT the judge and should have let the visit happen, he is to blame for this just a wee bit, mothers go crazy when they cant see their babies when the court has order her visitation rights,

    • The driver had control of the vehicle and lost control of the vehicle. There is no one else responsible or blameworthy than the driver.

  • Where were these women drinking and who was serving them?

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