Vehicle Found Off Hwy 101 with Deceased Driver

Kym Kemp / Thursday, July 3 @ 7:42 a.m. /  News

California Highway Patrol Press Release: (See CHP Dispatch yesterday for more information.)

On an unknown date and time a 28 year old Redwood Valley resident was traveling northbound on US-101 approaching Bell Springs Road in a 2001 Audi Sedan. For reasons still under investigation, the Audi made an unsafe turning movement to the left, causing the vehicle to leave the west road edge and descend down a steep dirt embankment. The Audi continued traveling northbound on the descending dirt embankment before ultimately colliding into a tree. As a result of the collision the driver suffered fatal injuries. 

Identification of the driver is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. 

Officers from the Garberville Area office of the California Highway Patrol were assisted at the scene by other emergency services including Cal-Fire, Laytonville Ambulance, and the Mendocino County Sheriff Department. 

The California Highway Patrol, Garberville Area, is investigating this collision.

(UPDATED, NOW OPEN) Section of Highway 36 Currently Closed Due to Accident

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, July 2 @ 11:26 a.m. /  Traffic

UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: Well, that didn’t take as long as they thought. The ol’ CHP Watch indicates that Highway 36 is open one way! Your sunburned weekend is safe!

And in case you were wondering what this was all about, a LoCO reader sent in the following shots from the scene.

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UPDATE, 12:08 p.m.: California Highway Patrol press release:

On Wednesday, July 2nd, State Route 36 east of Bridgeville became fully blocked when a big rig pulling a modular building became fully disabled as it attempted to negotiate a curve in the roadway.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the big rig was traveling westbound on State Route 36, east of Bridgeville near mile post marker 37.  State Route 36 at this location narrows to one lane for both eastbound and westbound traffic.  As the big rig negotiated a curve in the roadway, the trailer’s right side tires exited the roadway edge, causing the big rig and trailer to become fully disabled.  The roadway subsequently became impassable for both eastbound and westbound traffic.  California Highway Patrol and Caltrans units are currently on-scene.  The CHP is coordinating with the trucking company and tow company to have the big rig and trailer removed.  The CHP is further coordinating with allied agencies to ensure emergency services are available east and west of the closure.

The CHP estimates this to be an extended road closure that may extend into Thursday, July 3rd.  We are making every effort to expedite the opening of the roadway and reduce the impact to the community.  Updates will be provided via the CHP Humboldt and Caltrans District 1 Facebook pages as they become available.

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Original Post: A KWPT caller took time away from enjoying some fine classic rock out at the Mad River Burger Bar to phone up in an attempt to alert travelers that a section of Highway 36 is currently closed. CalTrans’ website confirms that there was an accident 4.5 miles west of Dinsmore. Furthermore, LoCO‘s CHP Watch notes that a unit is at the scene where some sort of trailer is blocking the roadway. 

Stay tuned for the latest info.

[100% Containment] Two Camp Trailers Burn in Trinity Pines Fire

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, July 2 @ 9:18 a.m. / Fire! ,  News

UPDATE 7/3: The West Fire was 100% contained at 12:45 p.m. today.


Original post below:

A firefighter suffered a “heat related illness” and was taken to the hospital and two camp trailers were burned in the West Fire located in the Sand Ridge area of Trinity Pines just east of the Humboldt County line, according to the US Forest Service InciWeb. Several structures were threatened by the wildfire which has now been assessed at 35 acres.

Ten to fifteen residents are still under orders to evacuate because of the blaze which started at approximately 3:45 p.m. yesterday. However, during the night crews were able to reach 70% containment and the fire is expected to be completely contained by early evening.

Graphic provided by InciWeb.


Bigfoot Has a Bad Hair Day: New DNA Analysis of Multiple Hair Samples Reveals Bear Roots

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, July 2 @ 7:13 a.m. /  Humboldt

[Photo found here.]

A new study that came out today in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, revealed that Bigfoot hair samples collected across the world have no connection to the fabled creature but rather had their roots in common mammals. The “bear” facts are unequivocal—not one hair collected belonged to Sasquatch.

The authors of the study (led by a genetic’s professor from the University of Oxford) decided to put various hair samples collected over the years and attributed to abominable hominids to the test. They took 57 samples believed to belong to “anomalous primates” (a term used to refer to the numerous humanoid type creatures known variously as Yeti, Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Abominable Snowman, etc.) from across the world, including two from California. They then discarded all non hair after examining by macroscopic, microscopic, and infrared fluorescence. From this they selected 37 for further testing. Seven failed to yield any DNA which left 30 samples (the full results can be seen in this table here.) The bear facts are that the two samples from California were found to be Ursus Americanus, our local black bear. In fact, a large number were of bear origin. Others varied from raccoon to canine. There was even one hairy European in the sampling. 

The conclusion that Sasquatch researchers are sure to find…well, abominable was that none of the hair samples gave any support to the existence of Bigfoot. The study authors pointed out,

While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support. Rather than persisting in the view that they have been ‘rejected by science’, advocates in the cryptozoology community have more work to do in order to produce convincing evidence for anomalous primates…

Willow Creek residents and other locals relying on the Bigfoot legend are having a bad hair day. Anyone ready to comb the woods for a real Sasquatch sample and set these unbelieving city slickers aright?

Diver Trapped in Cave and Dies While Searching for Abalone

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, July 2 @ 12:28 a.m. /  Mendocino

Today, Feng Chang Wei of San Francisco was discovered deceased in Mendocino. Wei had been diving for abalone on the 29th with four friends. Rough waves forced Wei into a sea cave where he became trapped. His companions were unable to rescue him.

The Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team attempted to locate him both on the 29th and on the 30th but conditions made searching difficult. Today, (see press release below) search crews were able to locate his body in the cave where he had been trapped.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

On 7/01/2014 around 8:15 AM members of the Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team, assisted by Elk Volunteer Fire Department and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, responded to the Elk area to evaluate ocean conditions.  On this date the Fish and Wildlife Department transported divers to the area in their Ocean Patrol Boat “Chinook”.  Ocean conditions were more favorable, than the previous day, for deployment of the dive team. Two Dive Team members responded to the cave where the missing person was last seen.  Around 9:00 AM dive team members located the missing person still in the cave and confirmed he was deceased.  The decedent was transported back to Fort Bragg where family members made a positive identification.

The cause of death was not obvious at the time the decedent’s body was recovered.  A coroner’s investigation was initiated and the cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy and toxicology screening.


Fire near Trinity Pines Forces Evacuations

Kym Kemp / Tuesday, July 1 @ 11:47 p.m. /  Fire!

About 3:45 this afternoon a wildfire started in the Trinity Pines area. The blaze has swept through over 50 acres and threatens multiple homes in the area. The US Forest Service said that 10 to 15 residents have been evacuated in the Sand Ridge area.

According to the Forest Service, crews are responding “aggressively.” As of 7 p.m., the Fire Service has brought five fire engines, one dozer, four crews, two helicopters, one air attack, and four air tankers to fight the flames. 

Ab Diver Missing in Mendocino

Kym Kemp / Monday, June 30 @ 10:26 p.m. / Mendocino ,  Missing

Mendocino County Sheriff Press Release:

On 06-29-2014 at approximately 9:01 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were summoned to the 5400 Block of South Highway 1, Elk, to assist the Elk Volunteer Fire Department with a report of a citizen over a cliff.

While enroute to the location, additional resources were requested to respond to the scene.  Representatives from the United States Coast Guard Station Noyo River, CalFire, Elk Volunteer Fire Department, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department responded to the location to assist.

Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies arrived at the scene and learned Feng Chang Wei of San Francisco, had entered the ocean with four friends to dive for abalone.  Due to the strong current and rough ocean conditions, the group began to be pushed into a sea cave along the bluff.  Several of the men clung to the rocks trying to avoid being pulled into the cave.  At one point Feng Wei was struck by a wave and pushed into the cave where he became distressed.  His friends attempted to rescue him from the cave but were quickly over taken by the strong waves and were forced to swim out to save their own lives.

Helicopters, boats and rescue divers were utilized throughout the day to search the area but Feng Wei was not located.

UPDATE 06/30/2014:

On 6/30/2014 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded back to the location, with the assistance of Elk Volunteer Department, to evaluate the ocean conditions to see if it was safe for diver’s to enter the water.  The SAR Dive Team evaluated the conditions and found it was still unsafe to enter the water.  SAR Teams did search nearby beaches as well as search the ocean cove visually from land but were unable to locate Feng Chang Wei.

The Sheriff’s Office plans to renew search efforts on 7/01/2014 with the SAR Dive Team and additional resources from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elk Fire, and Mendocino Fire Departments.

Anyone with information related to Feng Wei’s disappearance or whereabouts is urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.