[UPDATE 3:54 p.m.] Major Injury Accident on Old Arcata Road This Morning

Note: At the request of Arcata Fire, a photo they previously posted has been removed as when enlarged it showed the hand of the victim.

About 4:37 a.m., a solo vehicle crashed into a utility pole on Old Arcata Road near Stephens Lane. The vehicle, a black 2006 Nissan sedan, wrapped around the pole and was destroyed.

Sgt. Gabe Parker with the California Highway Patrol said the male driver received major injuries in the accident and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. He added that it did not appear to the investigating officer that alcohol or drugs were involved.

In spite of damage to the pole, power did not go out in the area. Sgt. Parker said the accident “damaged the bottom of the pole but PG&E was able to secure it.”

vehicle vs pole

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Arcata Fire released the following statement:

At 04:39 AM Arcata Fire District responded to a vehicle vs. pole crash at the intersection of Old Arcata Rd and Stephens lane. The first arriving engine found a small sedan with significant damage and intrusion of the pole into the passenger compartment and a single occupant trapped inside. Two Arcata engines, one Humboldt Bay Fire engine, one rescue and Battalion Chiefs from both Arcata and Humboldt worked for over 30 minutes to free the trapped occupant while Arcata-Mad River Ambulance Paramedics provided patient care. At one point four “jaws of Life” tools were being used. The patient was transported to St Joseph’s Hospital with major injuries.

Other agencies at scene were the California Highway Patrol, Arcata Police Department and PG&E. Samoa Peninsula Fire District and CalFire provided district coverage while Arcata units were committed. Arcata Fire District would like to remind everyone to drive safely this winter season.



  • How he survived that wreck just leaves me with no answer. The responders probably thought they had a DOA victim. Hope he makes a recovery.

  • The power DID go out and is still out on Stephens Lane, affecting programs going on at The school.

    • There was a power outage that started at 9:50 a.m. that is affecting 28 people but since it started four hours afterward, it doesn’t seem related. It is possible that the pole had to be replaced though and that is causing the outage.

  • When that guy comes to and sees those photos, I can’t even imagine his reaction. I hope you fully recover and enjoy your second Life. I normally don’t speculate but I know when I’ve had to wake up earlier than normal it made driving extra hard. Whatever caused it I’m just in shock he’s alive.

  • Seatbelts and air bags!
    Seems a wise option…

  • Hope they recover.

    Though this has no bearing on this accident, people in general drive very fast on that road, at least 20 miles over the speed limit regardless of the curves and slickness from the rain, what’s the hurry, why can’t they slow down?

    The safety corridor has been much safer lately, almost no speeders, safer than the old Arcata road,
    the police can’t be everywhere.

    • Yep, I live just up Stephens Rd and have to pull out from that intersection every day, several times a day, it sucks. I hope the driver recovers well

  • man thats a nasty wreck. Its very likely the drivers head hit the pole in the accident. Which is not just a horrible thing to think about but very poor chances when it comes to recovery from a statistics point of view.

    I wonder what direction he was headed when the accident occurred. Did he spin out and then meet the side of the pole?

  • I live just up Stephens Rd, power was out all day. Hope the driver is ok

  • It was related, they (subcontrators out of fortuna driving pg&e trucks)took power down to that area to install a new pole, power was down till 4pm.

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