CHP Seeks Public’s Help Identifying Driver Involved in Fatal Collision

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ. 07CT_TA034  (United States)

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe

 chpstarFORTUNA, Calif. – On the evening of Tuesday, September 1st, one pedestrian sustained fatal injuries after a Gray Chevrolet Tahoe traveling southbound on US-101, south of Fortuna, left the roadway.

At approximately 8:10 p.m., an unknown person, was driving a 2007 Gray Chevrolet Tahoe southbound on US-101, north of SR-36.  For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Chevrolet allowed the vehicle to leave the roadway.  The Chevrolet traveled onto the west shoulder of southbound US-101 and collided into a male pedestrian who was walking southbound at the time.  The Chevrolet continued off the roadway and collided into a fence on the west side of US-101.  Witness reports state that the vehicle fled the scene and headed eastbound on SR-36.  Witnesses described the vehicle as a Gray 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe with a California license plate of 5ZND366.  The pedestrian, a 47 year old male from Fortuna, succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the collision.  This collision is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.  The identity of the male pedestrian is being withheld pending family notifications.

*****Any information leading to the identity of a suspect and/or location of the vehicle should be referred to the Humboldt CHP office at 707-822-5981 during business hours or the Humboldt Communications Center at 707-268-2000 after business hours.*****

Earlier Chapter: Fatality on Hwy 101



  • “River Bar Jesus” was what he was referred to as by us because of his long hair and bearded appearance. An interesting person for sure, definitely afflicted with a mental disorder of some sort, he seemed to see things following him that nobody else could see. Some days whatever was following him would be extra annoying for him and he would in vain try to tell it off thru yelling and stomping and arm waving antics. Other days he was quite calm and collected, though always focused. I do not know his story, all I know is what I observed in passing, but he seemed able to function among society without really joining it. I think RBJ knew his place and mostly kept to it so as to have a life.

    RBJ must have had a place to live in Fortuna as during times inclement weather, we would not see him out of town. The rest of time he camped within the river’s treeline in the Alton area. Constructing his camps seemed to be what he enjoyed and what he spent most of his time on. His time was not spent efficiently though by any means, quite the opposite. His days seemed mostly spent walking to and from Fortuna for “supplies”, usually pushing a baby stroller or a bicycle, occasionally he would ride the bike.

    A couple memories I have of RBJ are events that stick out as they both made me laugh when they took place…

    The first is one day my wife and I were sitting at a red light at the Kenmar 4-way when we see RBJ zipping down Ross hill on his bicycle. He runs right thru a red light and right in front of this car. The car clips his back wheel, sending him tumbling. The driver of the car is a lady, who slam on her brakes until her car is stopped with this horrified look on her face. She rolls down her window as RBJ is instantly off the ground and on his feet and walking towards her. The look of relief melts onto her face as RBJ nears, then turns right back to horror when he goes absolutely apeshit on her!! Screaming, beating on her hood and kicking the car!! She’s screaming and trying to roll up her window as fast as she can buts its not fast enough so she punches it squealing the tires and takes off. RBJ then just walks over, picks up his bike and starts pushing it down the side of the road all nonchalant. After it was over, and my wife and are sitting there with our mouths hanging open, we look at each other and just start howling laughing.

    The second is, I was driving with my father when we notice RBJ walking on the side of the road towards us. Obviously he was having a bad day, as he was turning around pointing, yelling and stomping at whatever was following him. As is customary for us we rolled down the window of the truck and gave him a big wave and a “hello” as we passed. RBJ forewent his customary reply of a deep “hello” and instead thrust out his arm with a raised middle figure on his hand. It was so random and unexpected and out of character that we just died laughing for minutes.

    RIP RBJ … I hope that where you are now, your mind is clear of what tormented it and you are at peace.

    • Thank you for that. You gave me a sense of the man who died.

      • I was driving south on the 101 just ahead of the vehicle that struck the victim. I passed the guy pushing a stroller and looked at him while thinking.. “I wouldn’t walk with my baby in a stroller on a freeway like this”. Then in my rear view mirror I saw this SUV going on and off the 101 with tons of dust being kicked up. I pulled off at the 36 and dialed 911, time stamp on my cellphone 8:12 PM seconds after this poor man lost his life 🙁

    • A very nicely written story. Thank you.

  • Hope they find the driver of the Tahoe. I appreciate the background on River Bar Jesus. R.I.P.

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