[UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: Mother of Injured Child Gives Update] Fatal Accident on 101 Near Bell Springs Road Yesterday

Traffic backed up around the accident scene

Traffic backed up around the accident scene. [Photo by Joe Rial]

A fatal accident slowed traffic and left at least one man dead and a child injured on Hwy 101 north of Laytonville. According to one witness, the incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. when a small white car went off the road and down an embankment. According to reports we have received, a man and a dog were killed and a child badly injured.

One witness, who wishes to be anonymous, said she was driving north on 101. She says she saw a “young couple parked alongside of the road.” According to the witness, the couple “were frantically trying to wave people by.” She said she could hear them screaming, “We have no cell reception.”

She pulled over. The couple told her that there was a man, probably deceased in the vehicle and an injured child. Though she had no medical training, she had worked in a school and she felt she might be able to comfort the child. “I am good with kids,” she said simply.

When she got down to the accident, she said she saw a man laying back in his seat with his eyes wide open but unmoving and a child with long hair that she originally thought was a girl but has since come to believe was a boy.

The witness was there for quite some time while she waited for medical personnel, she said. During the whole time, the man did not move. “There was not a touch of blood on him,” she explained. “He was leaned back and not breathing.”

The child who was wearing her seatbelt appeared to be unconscious, the witness said. “[He] was clearly breathing,” the witness explained. “[He] was trapped in there. [The man’s] seat was pushed up against [the child’s] legs. I saw that [his] right arm was twisted badly.”

The witness described seeing that the child was bleeding but couldn’t see from where. She said she was afraid to move the badly injured child. “I just stood there and kept rubbing [his] forehead. I was scared [he] was going to wake up and see [his] dad and see he was injured badly.”

She started looking for something to cover the dead man’s face but couldn’t see anything usable. “I took my t-shirt off and draped it in a way that [the child] couldn’t wake up and see that,” she explained.

It was horrible,” she said. “I’m haunted by it.”

Eventually, the witness said, another nurse came down to help. “Before the ambulance got there, a young woman came down the hill,” the witness said. “She went to the child and said, “It is okay, sweetheart. We’re going to take care of you.’ She was clearly competent.”

The witness said she left. “I couldn’t do anything but get in the way.” She stayed on the road “until all the first responders were there.” Then after informing an officer, she left.

Traffic along Hwy 101 was delayed for several hours.

We reached out to the California Highway Patrol for more information but as it is a weekend, we don’t expect to get answers until Monday.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: We were contacted by the mother of the boy. They are Humboldt County residents. The boy has had multiple surgeries and will need more. However, he is expected to recover.

UPDATE: Blue Lake Man Dead in Fatal Mendocino County Accident; 8-Year-Old Seriously Injured

 

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23 comments

  • Prayers for the family

  • To the witness who stopped, comforted the child, waited for responders: You did good. You did all you could. It is horrible, yes. I’m sorry for that. Get a good rest, be sorry, and don’t let this trouble you because you are a good person.

    You did good– and that’s all anyone can do. Thank you for what you gave.

    • Agreed. You did all you could. I had a similar thing happen, minus the death. I took fresh first aid and CPR classes soon after. We are supposed to help each other out here. You did good.

      • As happened to me once, only with a child injured and one deceased. By the time I left, there were 6 or more people who had also stopped to help. It is good to know that so many were so willing to help.

        At first I couldn’t drive by the spot because it raised an awful memory. Gradually it got better. While I still mark it when I drive by now, it involves more hoping the survivors are doing well.

    • Yes. Thank you for stopping and comforting and caring. It makes a difference in this world you know. One kind action after another makes a difference. Nobody forget that! xo

    • Don't Drink While Pregnant

      Yes. Those who stopped to help a stranger however they could were partaking in humanity’s highest form.

      And, as someone who has provided medical care in some very traumatic situations, I want to give kudos to the witness for having the presence of mind to cover the decedent’s face so the child would not have that image burned into his mind the rest of his life. god knows there are some things I really wish I hadn’t seen.

    • 💗

  • Prayers for all involved.

  • Just think, First Responders see this sort of thing all too often!!! Luckily you only had too see it for a short period of time!!! They have to see it all too often for very long periods of time sometimes!!!! Best of luck to all involved & RIP I hope to the deceased!!!

  • Very touching. Your actions in the midst of this tragedy are very commendable. My hat’s off to you ma’am. Condolences to the family.

  • You might think it wasn’t much, but that child will always remember that you were there offering comfort and support at the scariest time of his young life. That’s huge.
    It might help to take a First Aid/CPR class so you’ll be more prepared, but I truly hope you never face that situation again. Bless you for caring!

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    To the Lady who stopped and done her best to help with this situation, our thoughts are with you for your service and help. As was stated, the Young Man will have horrible memories of the accident, but, he will also remember that you were there to help with the situation. I was a First Responder and Ambulance Driver for years with the Scotia Volunteer Fire Department and had to deal with situations like this way too often and the memories of those times still weigh on me to this day. Thank you for your service and help. We salute you for your time.

  • every day HERO!!!!!!!!!!! you go laddie thanks for being human.

  • Thank you for being you. You are a blessing!

  • We know this sweet family. He is a precious child. so loved by his Mother, sister and father who has now passed, and his community. PLease pray for him and consider donating to his Gofundme page. They will need the support. Prayers for his Dad on his journey. We love you. https://www.gofundme.com/bodhi039s-fighting-chance

  • Hey everyone, the boy who is in critical condition is my nephew. He might lose his arm as a result of the accident. I set up a GoFundMe to help his mother pay for all of the medical & travel expenses. Please tap to donate- https://www.gofundme.com/bodhi039s-fighting-chance

    • Heart rending image. Poor kid. I’m glad his mother is there to be with him. Once I had to make a series of trips for out of area surgery and it turned out the travel related costs were more than the medical costs. Hopefully this will be helped along by the community.

  • I am B’s grandmother and would like to thank those who stopped to help and provide comfort and aid to my grandson. I am comforted to know that he was not alone during this ordeal. I am eternally grateful to all of the persons involved, passersby as well as first responders. We have lost his father but we did not lose B, largely thanks to theswift actions of you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • This account moved me to tears. Blessings to the samaritans and first responders.

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