‘Very, Very Lucky to Be Alive’: Betty Chinn in Accident, Truck Totalled

Betty Chinn's Blue Angel catering truck was totaled in an accident this week. [Photo provided by Pacific Builders]

Betty Chinn’s Blue Angel catering truck was totaled in an accident this week. [Photo provided by Pacific Builders]

Betty Chinn, noted local humanitarian who received the Presidential Citizens medal for her work with the homeless, was in an accident Monday evening on 6th and A Street in Eureka. The other driver allegedly ran a stop sign and hit Chinn’s truck on the driver’s side door. This shoved her vehicle against a nearby building

“Both the police and tow truck driver said she was very, very lucky to be alive!!” reported Sue Y. Lee Mossman in a letter posted on Betty Chinn’s Facebook page:.

Her Blue Angel catering truck, however, was totaled. Pacific Builders has launched a campaign to help replace Chinn’s vehicle. They wrote on their Facebook page,

We at Pacific Builders will be making a donation to help her replace this vehicle and we will also match combined community donations of up to $2500.00

Every amount helps. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to:

Betty Chin’s Homeless Fund
P. O. Box 736
Eureka, CA 95502

Please make the notation “Pacific Builders” on your check or add a note so they can let us know the amount we need to match.

Betty Chinn's Blue Angel catering truck was totaled in an accident this week.

Betty Chinn’s Blue Angel catering truck was totaled in an accident this week. [Photo provided by Pacific Builders]

There is also a GoFundMe for those who prefer to donate online.



  • Unless I woke up in Europe that is most definitely the passenger side that was struck.

  • Of course she’s safe, I’d hope she has many guardian angels protecting her as she serves the community!

    I hope she gets her new truck up and running again soon:)

  • Isn’t that what insurance is for?

    Looks like the box is still in good shape at least, repurpose?

  • Its was the passenger side not driver’s side.

    • I was wondering about that as well but thought it was just me, still foggy from a mild lack of sleep!!!

    • Oh and you were there? You know where the truck ended up and if she was in danger that we can not see just from a pic of the truck in a yard? Praying for you, only someone severely unhappy in life would judge a story like this. Good luck!

      • Calling him severely unhappy for trying to help with some info seem like a little bit of a overaction but okay.

      • “Praying for you, only someone severely unhappy in life would judge a story like this.”
        Ah, the Queen of Sanctimony has checked in. Let us bow our heads, and hope that she slithers away.

    • Hard to tell from the limited images, but that damage on the passenger side could be from where the truck impacted the building, as mentioned in the article.

    • I suppose it could be wrong but the information comes from Betty Chinn’s Facebook page. A post says, “The other driver (had been drinking but was under the legal limit) ran a stop sign, and his vehicle hit Betty’s truck on the door of the driver’s side. Her truck was pushed up against a building, the fuel tank emptied gas all over the road, and her truck was totaled.”

      I presumed the passenger side damage came from being pushed against a building.”

      • There was no damage to the driverside. The truck never lost any fuel. It was driving just fine after the crash. Ya the passenger side was hit hard but that’s all.

  • I’m thankful she’s alright. She’s a remarkable person!

    I hope math wizards will break down the costs that volunteers are forced to pay in order to be ‘legal’ to partially help others out of their misery.
    Professional helpers also spend more on ‘legalities’ than on the actual helping. What’s their cost break down?

    Why are the community members so adamant about ‘legalities’ instead of liberty?
    Follow the money.

    • I use to help her when she only had the White Van and the 5 34 cup silver coffee pots. We had our designated spots and we would serve who showed up a continental breakfast out of the side of a van. Hope the drivers alright.

      • Hopefully she can borrow or rent a van, if needed, for the duration between now and her new truck. Being a ‘legal’ volunteer, will the powers that be let her begin again at phase one until she’s up and running again?
        Thank you for helping when you could, Willie. You’ve earned my respect.

  • The Betty Chinn center office staff is all women. They refuse to even interview men for employment. This is a violation of state and federal law. I dealt with this earlier in the year. I am sure they receive some federal or other taxpayer funding which should be pulled. They should be investigated.

    Regarding the crash, since EPD does not enforce the law, drivers all over town run stop signs. Stand outside the library for fifteen minutes and watch countless vehicles either roll through or drive on by stop signs at the corners. Crazy drivers and others know EPD refuses to cite people, so they can get away with whatever they want. It’s the wild west in Eureka thanks to ZERO enforcement.

  • Yes Follow the money. It goes straight to insurance companies and the state requires that organizations both volunteer and tax paid make sure those companies get paid or else.

    You as a citizen are free to help whenever you can.

    And hopefully you won’t be sued for your efforts like the volunteers that hauled an injured person up the cliffs below hwy 1 several years ago. Save a life and go to court? Now that’s gratitude for you…

    • Insightful input right there, thank you.
      Insurance companies, Lawyers, court processing funding, …
      It sounds like the courts should have thrown out the good Samaritan case. The courts receive extra funding from tax payers pockets if they meet ‘quota’ requirements? Trial by quota?
      Who writes the laws, contracts, and enforcement’s?
      The picture is worth a thousand words.

  • HOLEY SMOKES! This was one lonnnnnng earthquake! https://twitter.com/HeatherHintze/status/1068577253905203200
    Many homes were lost.
    Betty’s going to need more than one vehicle parked across every bridge if crazy stuff like this keeps happening.

    headline collection place: http://spidr.today/

    • In 1964 it shook for nearly FIVE MINUTES.

      Of course it went something over a 7.2 (the initial magnitude – later down graded).
      I still remember the Trio of shakes we had back in the 90s. 6.8 and better, as I recall, all three. They shook over a minute each – one cleared my kitchen shelves (CRASH), the next one cleared the book shelves…
      My heart goes out to those without homes this time of year – so many folks suddenly without shelter!
      Not just in Alaska, but all over the world.
      There but for the Grace Of God…

      • Five minutes? That would have been agonizing, to put it mildly.
        Yes, my heart goes out to all the homeless, any time of the year too, but especially in the winter.
        Are there any Canvas Manufacturers & Tent Manufactures in Humboldt/NorCal? Let’s hope some much needed businesses sprout forth.

  • Won’t the other driver’s insurance cover the cost? If uninsured, can we take it out of his hide?

  • The driver of the car….

    Somebody has to say ‘maybe he/she is not a bad person”.
    Just another pore sole smoking pot and running into something.

    • Sorry but if you’re so high you’re running stop signs that’s a DUI for one, not that anyone takes that seriously around here be it weed, booze or pills. For two it’s clearly endangering people’s lives. People around that area treat stop signs as optional like they treat yielding to pedestrian right of way and it’s crap. People need to realize the responsibility of operating a vehicle. Too many unnecessary accidents because of “poor souls” being too high, distracted, impatient, lazy, selfish. No. I don’t feel bad for those people. They make the roads dangerous for their own personal convenience.

      • you are right lazydaze, but why cannot our county and local law enforcement admit there is a weed vehicle operating problem? Could it be because of local economics? My point was if this person ran into any one/anything else it would probably not even have been a headline or not reported reported at all.

  • I thought I left an alert post earlier, about the need to prepare for and to help others like Betty to prepare for disasters like today’s Alaska earthquake that destroyed the infrastructure.
    Oh well. Must have been too off topic.
    Let’s get this show on the road before the road is on the show!

  • Ok, so the pickup part is totally gone. The fridge/hot box is not sans needing a little paint work. Buy a used pickup and put the box on it. I’m sure there are enough volunteers to do that. And it won’t cost 50 grand

  • Sounds like fun spending $50,000.

  • …the intersection of Sixth and A streets in Eureka…
    The tv news says the crash was at a different intersection.

  • Maybe she could get a new cab and chasis if the bed part of the truck is not damaged. It’s a very good thing that Betty is ok I think that there are a lot of people that are worried about Betty’s safety because of the kind of work that she dose someone with serious mental problems or a dangerous person could harm her while she is trying to help others. Betty is like the Sara Barrellies song Brave because that is just what she is.

  • Not an advocate for people’s sh!ty life choices, but I am an advocate for those who dedicates there lives to help provide a change. Unfortunately 50% of the people you see on the streets today want to be there. Not have too….. want too.

    • expanding insignificance

      Yes. And sadly, it’s only those directly involved like yourself and immediate family who really understand this.

  • In looking at the “Very, Very Lucky to be Alive” headline, it seems a bit over dramatic in this situation, especially in seeing pictures of several collision photos of late.

    • It’s a quote from a post on Betty Chinn’s website.

      • “Very, Very Lucky to be Alive”
        Aren’t we all?

      • Sounds like Betty or whoever posted that on the website is still being over dramatic, especially with my personal experience of being T Boned on the passenger side, many years ago.

        Looks like the crash bar on the passenger door did it’s job well.

        The guy in the white Toyota pickup involved in the Hwy 101 / Route 1 junction, a week and a half ago, can claim that…….. though after going through the courts, he probably wishing he wasn’t.

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